Penance

Blue Earth, Minessota...

Dean hardly left their side. He hovered, was gentle even though Jaden kept insisting she felt fine. She grew annoyed with him for treating her like some delicate flower, as if she'd break with the mildest of breezes.

"You." Jaden grabbed his shirt front and pulled him out of the nursery and into their bedroom. Finally fed up with the gentleness with which he treated her. It wasn't normal- not for him and she'd rather have her tough, smart ass Winchester back.

"Jaden-."

"Not another word, Winchester." She closed the door, her back pressed against it and a smile on her lips. "Now, don't be afraid to get a little rough."

W

Pastor Jim was surprised to find Dean in the rectory. He'd made no attempt to hide his disbelief in the all mighty but it wasn't as if Dean were averse into walking in a church.

"What is it?" Pastor Jim asked. Dean's eyebrows rose and it brought a smile to the older man's face. "The reason you came looking for me, Dean. You're not fond of churches or attending mass…"

"Just because I question the guy upstairs?" Dean scoffed then settled into an uncomfortable stance. "I want to baptize my son." He said softly, his eyes downcast.

'As though I'd deny him this.' Pastor Jim thought with a slight frown.

"Of course." He gripped Dean's shoulder and walked with him out into the darkening afternoon. "This will be soon…"

Dean nodded. There was no time to waste, not when he had a couple of weeks left-.

"I've asked Bobby." Dean said suddenly. "He'll be here in a couple of days. Jaden called RJ-. They're all showing up, all of them." Dean sighed once again tensing up just thinking of the men in her family.

"Everyone?" Pastor Jim asked with a knowing look.

"No, Pastor Jim. She's not talking to the rest of them- I don't-." he shook his head frowning again. He'd tried to get Jaden to call her Dad but she'd walked away without a word. It left him confused and immensely relieved not to have to tell her the rest of what he knew. He wanted to be happy, wanted her to be happy…

"Do we have a godmother?" Pastor Jim asked just for a change of subject. He knew how difficult the coming weeks would be for Dean.

"You could say that." Dean suddenly laughed. "J asked her friend Jack." Again he chuckled and though Pastor Jim found the sight of Dean laughing a happy event he wasn't amused by two godfathers.

"Then…"

Dean looked up choking back the laughter at picturing Jack playing godmother. The expression on Pastor Jim's face wasn't amused and Dean remembered Jaden's concern. That Pastor Jim wouldn't go for two godfathers.

"It's my dying wish, Pastor Jim." Dean said in a rush. The older man gave a tired sigh and dropped his head.

W

Ellen finished setting the plates on the table standing back to survey her work. The dining room had been turned into a buffet. Plates and utensils at one end, the food along the rest and knowing that Garth would be serving the drinks, had prepared a special area just for him. The day would be perfect. Everything would be perfect, it had to.

"And it only took a week." Ellen sighed. She headed into the living room where RJ was waiting.

"I know what she's cooking over there." RJ stated sniffing again.

"Jaden said its one of your favorites. Traditional Capirotada." Ellen smiled walking with him towards the front door.

"Luc taught her." he said with a sad smile. "We usually have it once, maybe twice a year. During the holidays." He explained holding the front door open for her.

"Dad- hello, Mrs. Harvelle." Tim greeted then turned his attention to his Father again. "Dad, we're going to be late."

"Tim, the church isn't far." RJ protested one hand on Ellen's back as they walked down the stairs. "We're the only ones scheduled today."

"Me hubiera dejado romperle la cabeza a Tomás." Tim grumbled holding the passenger side open for Ellen.

"Language Timothy." RJ warned in a mild tone though he wasn't happy with Tomás for not telling them about Jaden and the baby.

'JD, that's his name.' RJ reminded himself. He'd wanted to call Franco, tell him about his little girl, that she was married and now had a newborn. The old man had a right to know but Jaden had been adamant. They weren't to tell anyone. Nobody. And she didn't give an explanation, no reason for the silence.

"After what happened in Lomas del Real with Áreli?" Tim demanded with a scowl.

"She wasn't supposed- she was just going to help." RJ huffed flushing. Hadn't that been partly his fault?

"Uh, we're going to be late." Ellen reminded them. Tim got in and started the car barely waiting for RJ to close his door.

"Buckle up, Dad."

"Watch the road." RJ ordered while Ellen passed a hand over her mouth to hide the smile threatening to light her face.

W

It was late or early depending on the smart ass who answered. The house was finally silent leaving the tired parents to put the sleeping baby to bed.

"I'd rather he slept with us tonight." Jaden murmured rocking JD in her arms. Dean glanced over his shoulder at them, a tired smile lighting his features.

"I knew I'd be replaced eventually." He murmured walking to her side.

"Menso," Jaden whispered turning her face up to him and accepting the light kiss. "I wouldn't dream of replacing you. There's no one I want."

"No one?" Dean asked in a teasing tone as he wrapped his arms around them. He wasn't sure what she was going to answer but he couldn't get over the fact she'd been happily shacked up with Ryan the year before in Los Angeles. Add to that she had another child, a boy much older…

'The boy's too old to be Ryan's…'

"Not anyone, Dean." Jaden said gently sliding her fingers over JD's chubby cheek. "You're the only one I'd of chosen…

"Well," Dean shrugged, his cocky smile earning a soft laugh. "I'm irresistible."

"Uh-huh." Jaden shook her head tiredly. "You know, they'll still be here tomorrow. All of them."

Dean let out a groan following Jaden to their bed.

"All of them, all of them?" he fell into the bed pulling the covers aside for Jaden to lay JD at his side.

"Uncle RJ has two more vacation days left, Tim as well. Garth and Jack will definitely be on the road tomorrow night because they have to open Luc's and I need them to make me some money." Jaden laughed. She kicked off her shoes and slipped in bed with her boys tucking her feet under the warm blankets.

"Make you money." Dean echoed chuckling.

"How do you think I've paid for my hunting?" Jaden replied with a slight frown. "Jack was insufferable at first because of- well, just 'cus and then he finally had the brilliant idea of partnering up for Luc's which seemed like a great idea. I mean, they're awesome at the mixing and you've seen them. Garth is the prettier one but Jack… he's got a way with the ladies." Jaden chuckled.

"Jack?" Dean just couldn't picture it.

"He's quiet, not stupid, Dean. And sometimes quiet is just a little more appealing than loud and obnoxious." Jaden glanced at Dean knowing he'd be frowning at the implied insult. "But every woman is different."

"How different?" Dean asked eyeing her warily.

"That depends on the man." Jaden answered softly. "It just so happens I cant help myself around you."

Dean's pleased grin very closely resembled that shit eating grin Jaden had found so annoying in the beginning.

"Even that smile." She nodded snuggling in. "Aside from the pretty packaging and it is very pretty." Jaden assured ignoring Dean's derisive snort. She knew he didn't like being described as 'pretty'. "Its just you, Dean."

He could see the sincerity in her brown eyes, the depth of emotion…

"It could only be you."

W

Dean knew it was only a matter of minutes until his contract was up, until they came for him…

He'd spent the last week enjoying every last moment with JD and Jaden. Having picnics by the pond, long afternoon walks with them. He'd even changed his share of dirty diapers, something Jaden did with ease. Dean tried not to think about why that could be, then again Jaden just said it was a girl thing. A programmed response to being a Mom.

At night they sat up in the nursery, Dean reading from the book of fairy tales while Jaden rocked JD to sleep. Other times Jaden would softly sing lullaby's or pick up on a song Dean would start to hum while he held JD.

It was a normal life, the one he should've had…

"I wanted to live a normal life." Dean confessed. The words took Sam by surprise, he'd always assumed Dean was happy with the life their Father had forced on him. "I wanted what Dad had with Mom…"

Dean stared out at the moonlit night, watched the trees- their leaves swaying in the night breeze. He'd wanted so many things and he'd let the hunting take over his life.

"Dean…"

"I got to see what it was like, Sammy. For a little while I got to pretend it was real, that I could have something normal, innocent…" he smiled but Sam noticed the way his hands clenched the arm rests. "She really did love me."

Sam heard the wonder in his brother's voice, maybe a little trepidation.

"She's also married with a child, one that isn't yours, Dean." He sighed, shook his head tiredly because it wasn't the first time he was telling his older brother the woman he loved had essentially chosen someone else, someone not his brother.

"I know." Dean replied sadly. He glanced at Sam, his smile just a bit glum but he didn't argue anymore. What was the point?

Dean was sure about Jaden's feelings for him, she didn't let a moment go by without letting him know he was her choice.

Dean looked out over the yard, at the lake in the distance and brought up the memory of the picnic he'd taken with Jaden. They'd left JD in the nursery, sleeping. Pastor Jim sat in the rocker reading to him. Dean smiled, this time it was a genuine one as he thought of Pastor Jim reading his bible stories to his son.

'My son…'

Yes, he was a Father now and he could suddenly understand what his Father had felt at the knowledge he'd have to leave them alone.

'Jaden…'

He didn't want to leave her, either of them but he forced his mind back to their picnic, to precious moments spent under the trees… Dean settled into his chair, head resting on the back rest and closed his eyes.

"Angel eyes
My heart relies
On the love you give to me
You never let me down
You're always by my side
And I'll never, never let you go
I will never let you go…"

Sam glanced over at Dean. His brother was humming softly, the lyrics just a whisper…

Whatever came his way Dean wasn't going to let it take her image out of his mind, he was going to cling to each moment he'd lived with her for the past couple of months. Wherever he ended up she would become his safety net, it was her that'd keep him sane.

W

"Que? A donde vas?" Franco questioned in a hard voice. He wasn't going to like her answer but neither would Mayahuel.

"Sunnydale. Tenemos que terminar lo que empesamos. Angel will drop us off..."

Jaden woke with a start. Her eyes took in the darkened bedroom knowing she was alone. The feeling of unease that had woken her didn't abate, if anything Jaden was becoming more anxious. She got up and headed straight to the nursery. Sometimes Dean would be standing over JD, watching their son sleep. Very rarely did she hear him sing, his voice soft… She would stand in the door and listen, wonder why it felt as if time were slipping through her fingers, getting away from them before they'd even begun…

It seemed as though Dean hardly slept anymore. She'd noticed it more in the last week. He was start awake, eyes wild and his heart would be pounding in his chest. He would always say he couldn't remember what he'd been dreaming and Jaden didn't press him. It concerned her that he would lie but hoped that with a little time he'd tell her what was bothering him.

She padded into the dark nursery and up to the crib where JD lay peacefully. There was no one else in the room and leaning over the crib Jaden frowned. Her hand touched the leather coat draped over her son. Worry lined her face because there were plenty of blankets to cover JD.

So why had Dean placed his jacket over their son?

The same jacket she remembered seeing on John. The jacket Dean was ridiculously careful of and all because it had belonged to his Father…

Jaden turned towards the door, her heart was beating rapidly now and the anxiety was becoming panic.

Where was he?

"We can not change what has come to pass."

Checking JD one last time she headed into the hall and through Pastor Jim's house. Her feet un-hesitantly carried her towards the kitchen where she could make out two shadows on the back porch. Hands fisted at her sides, Jaden tread softly over the wooden boards to the back door. It squeaked as she pushed it open and the figure on her right shifted. Stepping into the cold night quickly Jaden ignored Sam. She reached a hand to Dean feeling herself grow cold inside. That sense of dread threatened to swallow her hole and her hand trembled.

"Dean?" her voice sounded hoarse to her ears and she tried to swallow, there was no response. Even when her fingers dug into his shoulder, Dean didn't respond though she had to be hurting him.

"Dean…" it was almost a plea as Jaden sank to her knees by his side. His head rolled towards her, his face unnaturally pale. She could see his lips were almost white, his face too slack for him to be asleep. Laying a hand on his chest Jaden tried to feel him breathe, trembling fingers sought out a pulse.

"Dean!" her frantic cry startled Sam from his doze. He jerked up, blurry eyes focusing on Jaden as she struggled to wake Dean. His brother's body slumped over the rocking chair and Sam grabbed him before he could hit the ground. Jaden was half buried under Dean, tears streaming down her cheeks as she kept calling his name over and over holding onto him. She pleaded, begged, demanded and all just by saying his name.

"What happened?" Jaden demanded holding onto a fistful of Dean's shirt. Her brown eyes shone bright with tears but there was something else there that made Sam take a hesitant step away from his sister-in-law.

In the cold night Sam shivered but Jaden didn't seem to feel it. She wore a white tank and gray shorts and though she should've been shivering with cold there was no goose bumps on her exposed skin. Sam could swear her skin glowed, as if she were standing in a ray of sunlight. The air grew suddenly warm as well-.

"What did you do!" Jaden screamed rising to her feet.

W