Disclaimer: Nope nothing here is mine. Sadly simple really…
Author's notes: Wee Winchesters are here as is John, Bobby and a slight mention of Elkins and Pastor Jim. Fluff piece but one I couldn't get out of my head until I got it down on paper. Not to worry I'm still working on Renovations and have sent the next chapter to my beta in hopes of having it up tomorrow.
When Mommy Returns
By infinite shadow
John knelt down to his oldest son. "I need your help buddy," he said softly.
Dean nodded as he picked up the last of his brother's toys off the motel room floor.
"Some people will be by tonight. Your job will be to stay in your room and if Sammy wakes up keep him busy so he doesn't cry. Can you do that?" John asked.
Dean nodded again. "Yes," he said solemnly. He did that every day.
"No matter what happens or what you hear you are not to come out. Understand?" John asked.
Dean raised his eyebrows as he tossed a couple of plastic blocks into the toy basket. He nodded again.
"OK," John said softly and touched the child's cheek. "Thanks for your help tonight buddy."
Dean cocked his head slightly and frowned at the funny look in his father's eyes. He wasn't sure but his father looked upset for some reason. Mommy had always said that hugs were made to make people feel better so he shifted and wrapped his arms around his father. When Mommy came home she would see that Daddy was still happy.
Dean pulled back and looked at his Dad. The sadness seemed to be gone and he was glad but he didn't smile. Smiles were for happy people and without his Mommy he couldn't be happy until she returned.
He glanced at the motel door and wished for the millionth time that she would walk through the door. She'd give Dad a big kiss then she'd pick him up and they would dance around the room just like they used to do. Dad would hold Sammy. Mommy would have him and they would dance to music all around the living room.
"Dean," John said sadly.
Dean turned his attention back to his father.
"She's not coming back son. You need to understand that," John said with a tired sigh.
Both looked over at the motel door and someone knocked.
With a quick squeeze of Dean's shoulder John got up, took the bottle of formula he'd heated up in the microwave and handed it to his son. "Get in your room now. Don't come out for anything, right?" John asked.
"Good. How many taps on the door?" John asked seriously.
Dean held up an out stretched hand signaling five.
"Good boy," John said. "Lock the door."
Dean nodded and hurried into his room closing to door behind him. After locking it he pressed his ear up against the wood with his hand on the knob to try to hear what was being said but he couldn't hear anything.
Sammy coo'd on the bed as he alternated waving a small blue stuffed dog in his fist and chewing on it.
Dean hurried over to his brother. "Shhh Sammy. We gots company," he whispered.
Sammy gurgled up at his brother as he waved his arms around and kicked his feet in excitement.
Dean wasn't sure if he was excited to see him or the bottle which seemed to be a toss up most days. "Are you hungry Sammy?" he whispered not realizing that he'd just spoken more to his baby brother than he'd said to his father all week. Talking to his little brother was important because Sammy would try to copy the sounds and would make him talk sooner. Mommy had said so and when she returned she would be able to tell that he'd been talking to the baby.
Another coo this time louder and Dean cringed. He was supposed to be keeping him quiet. He brought the bottle to Sammy's lips but his brother turned away from it. Dean put the bottle onto the bedside table and grabbed the soother knowing his baby brother would always take it.
An hour passed. Dean watched over Sammy and kept him from falling off the bed. Tiring of the game he put down a blanket with some toys on the floor. Carefully he took Sammy into his arms and gently laid him down on the blanket. After watching his baby brother lie there for a few moments as he continuously sucked on his soother and waved his stuffed dog around he glanced at the door.
Curiosity getting the better of him, Dean opened the door a sliver, just enough for him to see through. He saw a scruffy looking man speaking in hushed tones to his father and wondered what he wanted. Another man in a suit came by their last apartment. He'd talked to his father just like the scruffy looking man was and Dean wondered if they were going to be moving in the middle of the night again.
Dean frowned as he heard another man's voice say something but he couldn't quite make it out and he couldn't see him. It was slightly familiar, calm and warm. And then he realized that he'd heard it on the motel phone earlier that day.
"John are you sure?" the calm warm voice asked. "It does not have to happen tonight. Give yourself some more time. Daniel and I can do this."
"Yeah I'm sure Bobby. It'll only take a couple of hours, four at the most, and the job will be done," John said softly. "I need to start sometime and Daniel thinks I'm ready."
"Shouldn't take long. Just your routine exorcism," the scruffy man said. "The man doesn't need to be coddled Bobby he needs to get out there and take action."
"Elkins the last exorcism you performed put you in the hospital for a week," Bobby said.
Dean's eyes bulged wide. His father could be getting hurt. Hospital hurt. Who would look after them then? Maybe Mommy would come back then?
"Yeah," Daniel said as he scratched at his cheek then gave the other men a small smile. "My fault though cause I used the wrong verse."
All three men shared an uneasy laugh.
Not wanting to hear anymore Dean pulled back as he closed the door quietly, making sure to lock it before he leaned up against the wall. He frowned deeply. Would Dad leave them just like Mommy had? He was trying so hard to be good, to look after Sammy and be a big boy so Dad didn't leave.
Mommy would be back. When she did he knew she'd be proud of him. He looked after Sammy and Dad. He tried to keep Sammy's toys out of the way. He was quiet so Dad could work on his books. When Mommy came back she'd smile, give him a hug and say she missed him.
Sammy whimpered and Dean sighed softly as he walked over and gave him back his wet blue dog.
Dad left them alone sometimes to go to the motel office, to get dinner, or to get diapers for Sammy. But he was always back before the time he'd pointed out on the wall clock. Dad knew he could be trusted to watch over his little brother. Dean made sure Sammy was fine before and would make sure that Sammy was ok now.
He wasn't sure what his father was doing but it sounded like he was going to do something bad. But he wouldn't believe that because Dad had told him that he helped people. So his job had to do with something to help people.
Five taps sounded at the door bringing him out of his thoughts and he hurried over to unlock the door then rushed over to stand in front of his brother. Fear pooled in the pit of his stomach and Dean held his breath as the door opened.
"Dean?" John said softly as he entered the room. "Where's Sammy?"
Dean moved to the side revealing the baby on the blanket behind him.
"Did he eat?" John asked.
Dean shook his head slightly.
"Ok. I'm sure he'll eat later," John said. "Make sure he does before you go to sleep, ok?"
Dean nodded up at his Dad.
Sammy began to fuss on the floor as he tossed away his stuffed dog again.
Dean frowned and knelt beside his baby brother. "I'm here Sammy. S'ok," he whispered as he placed a hand on Sammy's chest.
Sammy stopped his fussing immediately and began to tap his hand against Dean's arm.
"I have to go out for a few hours," John said then offered a small smile to his serious son. "But then you already know that."
Dean guiltily looked up from Sammy and chewed the inside of his cheek as he nodded to his father.
"A friend of mine will be staying here to watch over you until I get back," he said gruffly. "It's just for a couple of hours. You'll be safe with him."
Dean just looked at him. He didn't nod, didn't speak, but his lips pressed together and his chin trembled once. On the inside he was screaming. No Dad! Don't go! Mommy's gone, how could you leave us?
John stepped out of the room and nodded to someone.
Dean watched the bedroom doorway as a man around his father's age came into view. He had three days worth of growth on his face, a dirty baseball hat in his hands and had a calmness about him that seemed to settle his father slightly.
"Hi Dean. We spoke on the phone this morning. My name's Bobby," he said softly.
Dean didn't say anything for a moment just stared at the man.
"Listen I'm going to be right out here reading a book. If you, or your little brother, need anything you just need to come out and let me know," he said quietly trying not to spook the little tyke.
John sighed heavily.
Dean looked at his father and frowned.
"Dean answer him," John said.
Sammy fussed slightly and turned over on his stomach towards his brother.
Dean looked back at Bobby and shuffled closer to his brother determined not to let him near the baby.
"Dean this is ridiculous," John huffed.
Bobby winked at John then looked back at Dean giving him a slight smile. "Your Daddy here told me that you've not been talkin too much. That's ok. I understand. You'll talk when you're ready."
John ran a hand over his face. "Maybe you should go instead."
"No John. Go and do the job. Dean, Sammy and I will be quite fine," Bobby said. "My sister has two sets of twins. If I can handle them, I can be here for your two youngsters."
John nodded and walked into the room. He crouched in front of his sons. "Be good Dean, ok? Make sure you behave and that Sammy has his bottle."
Sammy found himself on his stomach and not able to move anywhere. Frustrated he began to whimper and cry.
Dean looked away from his father and gathered Sammy into his arms. He held him against his chest and tucked Sammy's head onto his shoulder. Rocking slightly back and fourth Dean rubbed Sammy's back and hummed a tuneless melody.
"Jesus John. Alicia's oldest twins are six and they don't know how to do that," Bobby whispered.
John didn't answer the other hunter but reached out and put a hand on Dean's free shoulder. "I'll be back as soon as I can buddy, ok?"
Dean looked up at him with a blank face and nodded.
"Ok," John said and straitened up before quickly exiting the room.
"I'll be right outside here. Doesn't matter what it is Dean you need it you let me know," Bobby said softly before moving out of sight.
Dean sat there on the floor rocking his baby brother. He held onto him as tightly as he dared. This made him feel safe. Sammy here snuggled into his neck as he sucked on his soother and had one hand tangled in his t-shirt. When Mommy got back he could tell her she was right. Hugs did make people feel better.
When Sammy had settled Dean carefully lowered him to the floor. "Are you hungry now Sammy?" Dean asked.
Sammy looked up at him and yawned as he reached out with a fist.
"It's gonna be so much easier when you learn how to talk. Then you can just tell me what you want," Dean said.
Leaving Sammy on the floor he went to the bedside table and picked up the bottle of milk. Finding it too cool for his little brother to drink Dean glanced at the open bedroom door. He wasn't allowed to use the microwave but the temperature of the bottle wasn't right. It needed to be warmer for before he'd let his brother drink it.
He glanced down at his brother. Maybe this one time he could have slightly cold milk. But one look at the trusting eyes and he knew he couldn't do it. It had to be just right for his little brother.
"Stay put Sammy," he whispered then took a deep breath and walked to the door of the room and poked his head outside. He couldn't see the scruffy man so he cautiously took a step out of the room and looked back at Sammy who was contentedly chewing on the stuffed dog.
Knowing that his little brother would be ok for a moment he took two steps into the living room. Bobby was sitting at the small table reading from a leather bound thick book. He shuffled his feet slightly hoping the man could hear him because if he took another step he wouldn't be able to see Sammy anymore and that was not acceptable. When Mommy came back she wouldn't be happy if he'd left her baby alone.
"Hey Dean," Bobby said looking up from his book.
Dean tentatively held out the bottle to him.
"No thanks. I'm trying to quit," Bobby said as he stood up.
Dean frowned and brought the bottle closer to him. Maybe he should just try and figure out the microwave on his own. He already knew that five minutes would melt the bottle which was why he wasn't allowed to use the microwave in the first place.
"Would you like to get that heated up for Sammy?" Bobby asked as he held out his hand for the bottle.
Dean frowned. He didn't want the stranger touching the bottle. He looked dirty, greasy like he had just come in from working on a car and he smelled like motor oil.
Bobby smiled slightly at him. "Can you take off the lid?"
Dean glanced back at Sammy who was still staring at the ceiling and chewing on the dog. Satisfied that he was ok he quickly unscrewed the lid of the bottle careful not to spill any formula. Then he looked up at the man.
"Well come on over here and I'll get a chair," Bobby said.
Dean looked over to the small table by the wall that held the microwave. Going over there would mean Sammy would be out of his sight. He wasn't supposed to be out of his sight while he was awake.
Bobby went over to the table, picked up a chair and put it down in front of the microwave. Then he opened it. "Your move," he said gesturing at the machine.
Dean looked at the distance. Four steps there and four steps back. Less than a minute. The tricky part would be walking backwards to keep an eye on Bobby so he didn't do anything to the bottle. He glanced at his brother.
"He's gonna starve if you don't get that bottle over here," Bobby said.
Dean's face went from thoughtful to panic. Sammy was going hungry. When Mommy got home she wasn't going to like that. He quickly rushed over to the chair and realized that he would need both hands to get onto it. He looked up at Bobby unsure what to do.
"Easy there. Can you give me the bottle and I'll put it into the microwave?" Bobby asked.
Dean chewed the inside of his cheek and slowly handed over the bottle. He watched the bottle's every move as it went from his hand to Bobby's then into the microwave.
"How long Dean?" he asked.
Dean looked up at him wide eyed surprised the man didn't know. Dad did this because of the time he tried and melted the bottle and the nipple.
"I'll take that look for a no. How about we try 30 seconds," Bobby suggested.
Dean shook his head back and fourth.
"Dean you see that clock?" Bobby said as he pointed to the one over the table.
Dean nodded. It was the one his father used to tell him which number he'd be back by.
"The top is 12 and the bottom is 6 right?" Bobby asked.
"Ok well that hand that constantly goes around without stopping is called the second hand. Once around is a full minute. From 12 to 6 is half a minute or 30 seconds."
Dean thought about it for a moment and nodded. That sounded ok.
Bobby closed the door and pushed some buttons. Dean heard the beeps and he rushed back to look into the bedroom.
"Sammy!" Dean yelled as he ran into the room.
Sammy whimpered from under the bed. Only his sleeper covered feet could be seen sticking out from underneath.
"Sammy it's ok," Dean said as he got a hand on his brother's leg. "I'll get you out."
"Dean?" Bobby said as he came into the room and rushed over to help.
"NO!" Dean screamed as he stopped pulling Sammy out from under the bed and held up a hand.
Bobby fell back at the fear in the child's voice and took a calming breath.
Sammy screamed from under the bed.
"NO!" Dean yelled again this time he held his hands out to keep Bobby away as he hovered over his little brother's back.
"Ok Dean. Ok," Bobby said and took a step back. "Get him out of there quickly. I won't stop you."
Dean sniffed. Mommy was going to be mad at him when she got back. He'd let Sammy out of his sight for just a minute and now he was probably hurt. "Sammy," he said as he finished gently pulling his brother out from under the bed.
Sammy sneezed and then started to cry as he tried to reach under the bed.
Dean sat down on the floor and pulled his brother up onto his lap. Then he shifted him to rest against his chest.
Sammy squirmed and tried to reach for something as he started to cry harder.
Dean began to rock slightly and rubbed a hand over his brother's back. "Shhh. It's ok Sammy. I've got you. You're safe now. Everything's ok. Shhh," he said as he repeated the words.
Bobby watched in surprise at the four year old. Dean had closed his eyes and held onto his brother tightly with one arm while the other moved rhythmically up and down the baby's back. The hunter shook his head slightly and wondered what his friend Jim had been thinking bringing John into this with two young children.
Bobby got down onto his knees and looked under the bed. There was a blue stuffed dog and he figured that's what the baby had gone for. He reached under the bed and found he couldn't reach it. So he shoved the bed over and grabbed the stuffed animal grimacing at the soggy material.
"Sammy's," Dean said softly with a slight hitch in his voice afraid Bobby was gonna take Sammy's only stuffed animal away from him. He sniffed again as he held a hand out for the dirty stuffed animal.
Bobby looked at him not realizing the boy had been watching him. "Yeah I figured. I'm going to go wash this off for him then I'll give it back. His bottle should be ready now. Do you want to feed him?"
Dean nodded and struggled to get to his feet with his hands full of his baby brother.
"Whoa. Easy there," Bobby said as he reached out, grabbed Dean by his sides and lifted him up. "Ok?"
Dean was looking up at the hunter with wide fearful eyes and after a second nodded.
Bobby let out a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding as Dean walked out of the room. Kid looked as if he was afraid his sitter was going to try and take away his little brother. He shook his head as he followed Dean out of the room.
Dean sat on the room's couch and placed Sammy to sit on his lap with his little brother's back against his chest. It wasn't right the almost five year old thought. Mommy had showed him a different way to feed his little brother but he couldn't remember it. When she got back she'd show him again and this time he would make sure he remembered.
Bobby put the dirty stuffed animal next to the sink of dirty dishes and grabbed the bottle out of the microwave. He screwed the nipple back on and dropped a bit on his wrist to test the temperature. Felt about right for what temp his sister used on her kids. He went over and joined Dean on the couch.
Dean held his hand out for the bottle.
"Put him in your arms properly and then I'll give you the bottle," Bobby said.
Dean looked down at his brother not knowing what was wrong with how Sammy was sitting. It was how he normally fed him. He glanced up at Bobby.
"S'all right Dean. Position him so he's cradled in one of your arms," Bobby instructed and waited for the little boy to move his brother. "Good. Now tuck one of his arms under yours so it goes around to your back."
Dean frowned slightly but did as the man asked. He felt Sammy's hand grab his t-shirt.
"Perfect," Bobby said. "Now are you comfortable?"
Dean looked up at him with a confused frown.
Bobby chuckled. "It'll take some time for the little one to drink the bottle. If that position is uncomfortable then we need to find one that is comfortable for the both of you."
Dean nodded and took the bottle from Bobby. He put the nipple just in front of Sammy lips like he usually did. Either the baby would take it or move his head to the side. This time Sammy's head came up slightly and latched onto it. He began sucking hungrily drinking down the formula.
Bobby got up and headed for the sink. He took the dishes out of the sink and began to fill it with hot soapy water.
Dean looked down at his brother and a small smile graced his lips. This was much easier. Usually he kept one hand on the bottle and the other was used to keep his brother from squirming away. This wasn't quite what his Mommy had showed him but it was close. And it was a gentler way to feed Sammy. He felt himself start to relax and he slouched back slightly making sure Sammy's hand wasn't trapped between him and the couch back.
Bobby concentrated on washing the dishes. He didn't usually clean at his own place until Alicia or someone was coming to visit or he just plain ran out of dishes. But he wanted to give Dean some space with his little brother. He took a stealthy glance from his post at the sink and couldn't help but smile slightly. The boy was actually smiling down at his little brother. John had said the boy hadn't smiled or laughed since losing his Mother. He realized he'd stopped washing the plate in his hand and got back to washing.
Sammy began to close his eyes sleepily and his hand tapped Dean's hand that was holding the bottle. He blinked a couple of times and gurgled slightly then let his hand rest over Dean's.
Dean fought off a yawn, took a deep breath and blinked several times to stay awake. Just after the fire he would get up and sleep in Sammy's crib. He wanted the baby to be protected until Mommy could come back and look after them. But in the last couple of days Dad had been stopping him from doing that. He was a big boy and big boys slept in proper beds. Only babies slept in cribs. Dean didn't mind if it meant keeping Sammy safe. But Dad had been firm and Dean had been sticking to his own bed. That didn't mean he'd been sleeping well. He fought against sleep every night for a few hours to keep watch over Sammy.
"When Mommy gets back Sammy you're gonna love her. You'll remember her," he whispered talking to keep himself awake. "She has long soft yellow hair. Dad says she has a beautiful smile and amazing eyes. You wait. It shouldn't be long now. Mommy will be back and Daddy will be like himself again and we can go home."
Bobby froze at the sink. His heart skipped a painful beat as he heard the belief the child's voice. Dean really believed his mother was coming home.
"Mommy will sit at the table with me and we'll colour pictures while you rock next to the table in your swing. Or we'll sit and watch cartoons together on the couch and Mommy would laugh with me and hold you in her arms. Mommy will be back and we'll be better Sammy. Dad won't yell or smell funny with the brown water he drinks. He'll be home more and he'll laugh. We'll play ball again," he whispered.
Bobby held onto the edge of the counter to keep standing. He wanted to go over and wrap the traumatized boy in his arms. Give him the safety and protection that his father wasn't providing but should have been. He'd been in Dean's shoes when he was six. His mother had been taken from him not by a demon but by a car accident. He'd been so lost, confused and missing his mother so much it hurt to breathe. He didn't have anyone to look after like Dean did, but his own sister looked after him until their father came round. It was only a matter of weeks before his life took on some semblance of normal but Dean's never would.
"You'll see when Mommy gets back," Dean whispered to his now sleeping brother. He leaned over and kissed his forehead like he did every night. Just like the night of the fire. He took out the now empty bottle and gently moved his brother to sleep against his shoulder as he leaned back and closed his eyes allowing himself to drift into sleep. "When Mommy returns we'll be ok."