"Chapter Twelve: Grazed Knees"
Six years and several months later…
Metallica blared through the speakers as Dean's hands tapped to the rhythm and mouth moved to the words. Sammy sat shotgun and stared idly out the window at the passing scenery. Pulling off their exit, Dean glanced at the clock. They were on time which was something that didn't happen very often. Reaching over the music was lowered to a soft hum. The kid's face immediately turned into relief.
"Thank God," he spoke. "Three hours straight of nonstop, blaring Metallica was giving me a splitting headache."
"Come on, Sam, we just had the perfect hunt! I haven't had a hunt go that smoothly since Dad and I…" He cleared his throat and glanced over at his brother. "At least we made it back in time."
There was one thing - even after all the years - that Dean still had a hard time talking about. John Winchester was a hard subject that was rarely brought up, and Dean believed he would never be able to openly talk about his dad without being suffocated by grief and guilt. Next to Sammy, John meant the world to Dean for the longest time. For twenty-seven years of his life, his brother and father were all he knew and all he cared about.
The car went silent as Dean drove through the residential area. Pulling the Impala up to the edge of the road, the engine was cut. Both brothers glanced right to see a brick elementary school.
"You know what today is?" Sam questioned as he leaned back into the leather seat.
"Uh… a week before school lets out?"
"This is the anniversary of your death date that you somehow managed to get out of without telling me."
Dean groaned, his gaze leaving the school to look at his little brother. The kid had a way about him - a way of pushing and shoving a subject until he got the answer. He couldn't just be happy that Dean was alive and well. No, he had to unravel exactly how Dean got himself out of the deal.
"Kinda creepy for you to remember that."
"Come on, Dean, just tell me. We've been having this argument since-"
"No! Not forever. I just… why won't you tell me, Man?"
"There are some things, Sammy, that I don't want to go spilling out to you. There are some things that I like to keep private."
"The things that should be kept private - like your sex life - should be private, but you feel the need to go in depth about it. Things that you should tell me should be told."
"I'm helping you out, Sammy. You're like my apprentice."
"I'm not your friggin' sex apprentice, Dean!"
Before Dean could reply, a loud bell rang from the school and kids started pouring out the doors to buses and cars. That's when Dean saw him, the small boy who had his green eyes, Sam's dimply smile, and Carmen's pitch black hair. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he could love someone as much as the little boy jogging towards the Impala with a grin plastered across his face. He stopped short of the classic car as he stood outside the passenger's door.
"Password," the small child piped.
"Get in the freakin' car," Dean replied with a smirk.
"I'm not 'posed to get in the freakin' cars with monsters who don't know the password."
The small boy had a shit-eating grin dancing on his features that would make John Winchester proud as hell. The boy knew it really was his father and uncle in the car. Even though he was enjoying giving the older Winchesters a hard time, Dean was proud of him.
"Jim Rockford, but that's Mister Rockford to you. Now get in the car you little brat."
He opened the back door as Sam laughed. Ever since he found out that though his uncle was taller, he was the younger one - the boy thought it hilarious to call his father 'Shorty'. Turning the key in the ignition, Dean pulled out onto the street. He headed south towards his house - the thought was absolutely ludicrous even after all the years.
"Did you get it?" the boy in the back asked as he snapped the seatbelt into place.
"That fugly sucker isn't going to hurt anyone else," replied Dean as he glanced in the rearview mirror at his son - his son.
"How's school?" Sammy questioned as he twisted his body to look at his nephew.
"Borin'. I wish I could go with you and Daddy. I wanna be a hunter."
"Why don't you worry about passing first grade before you make any life altering decisions? Okay?"
Dean looked into the rearview mirror just in time to see the boy roll his eyes with a slight nod. His son hated school more than anything else. Sammy often blamed him for it - stating that his son picked up on bad habits - especially when the boy worshipped the very ground his father walked on.
"Whatever, Uncle Sammy."
Adjusting himself back into his seat, Sam shot his brother a disapproving look before glancing out the window once more. There were countless amounts of time that Sam took to instill in his nephew that school was important, hunting wasn't all it was cracked up to be, that he should apply himself to things other than sparring and target shooting.
Several minutes later, Dean pulled the Impala into a concrete driveway that led to a house with green siding. Not long after the birth of his first son, Carmen and Dean decided to buy a slightly bigger house so Sammy wouldn't have to spend his nights on the couch. The house was spacious at first but soon became cluttered with all of Carmen's knick-knacks. The garage actually housed both cars for nearly four months before it became cluttered with odds and ends.
"You promised," the boy started, "when you came home you would teach me to ride a bike."
"If you can find it in the mess called a garage, I will."
He threw his backpack aside before leaping out of the car to race to the garage. Dean watched silently as he rose on his tiptoes and started to punch buttons on the number pad before the door started to rise.
"Why don't you go order some food? Your pick. You can even order some of those chick coffees with vanilla and whipped cream."
"You're really never going to tell me how you got out of your deal, are you?"
"Maybe when I'm dyin' in some hospital room of old age I will. You'll have to wait a good sixty years though."
The door squeaked as Sam got out of the passenger's seat and made his way towards the front door of the house. Dean watched as his son walked beside his jet-black bike with training wheels. He got out of the Impala and met his son halfway up the driveway.
"No little wheels."
"Yeah, I don't need 'em."
"Who put them on if you don't want them?"
"Mom," the boy said as his eyes rolled. "She said I needed 'em or else I can't ride."
"You want me to go against your mother?"
"You can take her in a fight."
Dean laughed as he dug into his jacket packet for his Swiss Army Knife. Bending down, he looked at the bolts holding the training wheels in place before glancing up at his son. He was a spoiled, stubborn six year old who somehow always managed to get his way.
"Yeah, you're not the one who has to sleep on the couch for this," Dean muttered as he started to unscrew the bolt.
"You can share my bed," the boy replied with a shrug.
"You know how much I love racecar beds."
"Red racecar beds that you and Uncle Sammy painted black to look like the 'pala."
"Sam - Uncle Sammy always had a way of getting whatever he wanted when he was a kid too. He used to look up at your granddad and me with these big 'ole puppy dog eyes that forced us to give in to whatever he wanted," he explained as he loosened the wheels.
"Uncle Sammy is cool."
"Albeit a little nerdy, yeah he is."
"Nerdy is cool."
"Not as awesome as a dad who can rebuild a car from scratch."
"True. You both are pretty cool. I guess, but Uncle Sammy can rebuild a laptop from scratch."
"A laptop is tiny. An old classic car is massive. You do the math."
The last wheel fell to the ground as Dean kept a hand on the bike to keep it steady. Glancing up at his son, he couldn't help but see his little brother hopping up and down in excitement at learning how to ride a bike. Clearing his throat, he stood up and motioned for the boy to get on.
"I won't let go - I promise," Dean whispered.
The pedals pushed the bike slowly forward as the boy had a death grip on the handlebars. Dean walked beside him with hands on either side of his son's hands keep the bicycle steady. Turning onto the sidewalk, the bike started to pick up speed as Dean jogged along side the bike with his hands still firmly on the handlebars.
"Let go! I got it!"
"Dad, let go!"
Reluctantly, Dean's grip loosened as his hands let go. The bike wobbled forward as he jogged to keep up with it just in case it decided to tumble over. The bicycle tilted dangerously to the left as Dean reached forward to grab onto the banana seat. Except, he wasn't fast enough and the boy went crashing down to the cement. A squeak of surprise escaped the boy's lips as his hands skinned against the pavement.
Dropping down to the ground, Dean reached out and pulled his son's shaking shoulders to look at him. Instead of tears pouring down his face, Dean watched as his son laughed before burying his face into his father's leather jacket. Glancing down, he realized his son's jeans were ripped at the knees and blood stained the blue fabric.
"I thought I could do it," he pouted as he poked his bleeding knee with his finger. "It didn't hurt that bad."
Looping an arm under his son's knees, he pulled the boy as close to his chest as humanly possible. The bike laid on the sidewalk forgotten as Dean walked back towards the Winchester house with his son in his cradled in his arms. Leaning down, he planted a soft kiss on the boy's mess of hair as a sigh of relief escaped his lungs.
He would be there to pick his son up from the ground, to kiss his grazed knees better. He would be there to wrap an arm around his little brother, to help ease the pain. He would be there to plant a kiss on Carmen's forehead, to let her know she was never alone. He would be there, alive, because of one small prayer - of allowing something bigger than himself take control.
Author's Notes - The end. Sorta sad that it's finished though. I really don't know what to say actually. Be on look out for 'One Fell Swoop' the prequel to this story. I'm taking a couple week hiatus to add onto my other stories that I've stared. Hopefully I'll get one done before starting OFS.
Since this is finished, I ask everyone to leave a little something and tell me whether or not you enjoyed it. This was my first Supernatural chaptered story to complete, so let me know if I executed it well. Thank you all to my constant reviewers and constant readers.