Disclaimer: I do not own "Supernatural" nor the boys. I just love them.
Author's Note: Hi there:D A little follow-up on the episode, "The Kids Are All Right." Spoilers abound for the episode so please be careful. :)
Huge thanks to Lembas7 for beta'ing this on short notice for me. Any remaining errors are all mine as I have a tendancy to go over it again once I get it back. :P
He wasn't the first to find her, find them. It's not like she'd moved around; same town, same name. She had been wild then, a wild-child with too much time on her hands and not enough activated brain cells. She drank to much, partied too much, slept around too much; just out of high school, with a part-time job teaching yoga and enough attitude to get her into places she shouldn't even have known about. She'd been lucky to not end up dead.
He wasn't the first to come looking for more, to remember a girl with long, wavy curls and no inhibitions. Of course it had happened more in the beginning, when Ben was young; in the beginning, sometimes, she had given more - it was hard to entirely banish that part of herself.
Ben grew fast, though. In the blink of an eye he was watching her with wide, trusting eyes as she let strange men into their home. She would never betray that trust. Her parents had helped her get back on track, willing to forget the one year, two months, and three days their little angel had spent rebelling against everything they'd showered her with. Perfectly willing to accept a grandson, provided the grandson was showered with everything they deemed "proper," provided no father ever entered the picture.
She'd made the choice when Ben had been three-years-old and never looked back. It didn't bother her, not really. They weren't the kind of men she really wanted in the picture. That year had faded to a sepia-colored slide show of photos and whenever any part of it surfaced she was sure to set a flame to it. She was done with it.
They were always surprised when they saw her, the men she'd known. Nonplussed at the look, the style, the difference that radiated off her; this was the life she'd been born too, the one she'd been meant to live. They remembered a wild child full of joi de vivre and irreverence, a girl that had vanished as suddenly as she'd appeared. Lisa had made her vanish. There was no room for her inside Ben's Mom.
There had never been a blood test. There never would be. Ben was her son. Hers. She wouldn't let that year rear its head and taint her boy.
Yes, he'd looked disappointed, that hadn't really surprised her. It happened, Ben was a cool kid. Who the hell wouldn't want to be his Dad? Especially the kind of Dad that rode in a muscle car and taught you how to knee bullies in the groin? The kind of Dad that had cool stories and candy and never said 'no'; that never had to deal with the nightmares, the parent-teacher meetings, the fevers and the vomiting.
It was the longing that had surprised her. The look on his face, so sincere. He'd looked at her with wide trusting eyes. He believed her, took her at her word - Ben wasn't his; and that startled her. The faith he'd placed in her had shaken her, made her offer something she hadn't offered in a long time, the kiss had surprised her as much as him; made her offer something she'd never offered anyone, a chance with her son.
"It's not my life."
There had been longing in those words, a sadness she didn't remember in him before. Dean had been one of a few too many - fun and funny, shiny and shallow; a great time, nothing more. He was something more now though, much more. There were things there, in him, she hadn't seen before, an integrity and a stability she hadn't noticed at all. He was more than she'd remembered him to be. And without him, Ben would be dead; simple and horrifying as that.
She'd never hesitated to feed each guy the same line. It had never felt like lying before. It had never felt like betrayal before.
"I would'a been proud to be his Dad."
The words echoed in her head. She didn't know if Ben was Dean's son, would never know. What she did know was that for everyday of her life it would haunt her - he wasn't like the others, he was someone Ben would have been proud to call Dad.