Prequel to 'Proud Parents' as requested by a few people!
You don't have to read that to read this and you don't have to read this even!
After Sam got Dean out of hell, it took nearly three months before they felt well enough to celebrate.
It was like the tying up of loose ends, the end of something, a sense of finality. They had done it, they had killed the Yellow Eyed Demon, they had saved each other from death and worse, they had released their dad's soul and they had banished a lot of evil sons of bitches.
Evil never rested, but they felt that it was time they did.
They went out on the town, Sam, Dean and Bobby, the three musketeers, staggering from bar to bar, drinking beer, shots and anything else they could lay their hands on. Around midnight, things started to go very fuzzy and even Sam didn't protest when they picked up the three eager and willing ladies and took them back to Bobby's for some fun.
It had been a long time, no one since Madison, circumstances and other worries getting in the way. Sam was far too drunk to feel any guilt, to feel anything other than lust really and it felt good, too good, to worry about it.
The next day they all three had hangovers and Bobby wished that he had more than one bathroom. Dean spent the entire morning worshiping the porcelain God, whilst Bobby hung out in the garage, his head bent over one of the cars. Sam woke to find the woman he had spent the night with making coffee and he was grateful. She was older than he thought, wrinkles around her eyes and mouth, but she was pretty enough and kind and she patted his cheek as she left, accepting the piece of paper with his cell number on it and an invitation, which they both knew wasn't that genuine, to call by anytime.
They continued hunting, using Bobby's as a base, as a home almost, the first they had had since Lawrence. They hunted because they didn't know what else to do. No amount of persuading was going to send Sam back to school; nothing Dean could do would convince his brother that it was ok. Sam was in it for the long haul, claiming that he no longer had any interest in studying, that hunting and Dean were all he needed.
Dean was tempted not to believe his brother but he gave up on trying to convince him otherwise. Sam had a stubborn streak, the Winchester stubborn streak and there was no changing his mind.
It was a hot summer's day when Dean found the bundle in the back of the Impala. He called out to Sam and Bobby and they came running, both standing, opened mouthed, as Dean lifted the tiny baby out of the seat, pulling back the blanket to reveal a wrinkled pink face, already angry through crying.
Sam shook his head, lips pursed, as he began to lecture Dean on the fact that, finally, his indiscretions had caught up with him. He was in full flow when Dean handed him the note that had been pinned to the baby's coat and he would have passed out if not for Bobby's steady presence behind him.
'Sam,' the note read, 'I am sorry – but I am too old to cope with another baby. I am leaving town so don't try to find me. You seem like a good man and I can see, by your attitude to your brother, that you think family is important. This is your son, so take care of him.'
He was a father and the enormity of it nearly knocked him off his feet. He stared at the tiny baby in Dean's arms, his eyes filled with hot tears, wondering how this could have happened.
He had often thought of having kids with Jess, but since her death and the threat that he might, one day, turn evil, he had decided that he wasn't ever going to be a father. Now, with all the evil things that had once threatened his family dead and gone, he was looking at his child, his son and he didn't know how to deal with it.
Dean, of course, was an expert.
He had virtually bought Sam up, caring for him since his father had given him that responsibility. Dean knew what formula to buy, what size diapers were needed, what shots the baby needed. Dean was, strangely, at home in baby wear stores, purchasing sleep suits, rompers and little shoes. Sam watched in awe as Dean changed his son, as Dean's big, callused fingers fastened the tiny poppers on the baby's sleep suit, as Dean tested the milk on his wrist before feeding the baby who lay contentedly in Dean's arms.
Sam tried, but he always felt he was lacking. He had no experience with kids, no real skills to draw on. He spent hours in front of the laptop doing research on babies and their habits until Dean slapped him on the back of the head and said, clearly.
"Use your instincts Sammy, just use your instincts."
They called the baby John, after their dad and added the name Robert as a thank-you to their old friend.
For the first time in their lives, they went house hunting, finding a small apartment, not far from Bobby's house, wanting to keep what 'family' they had left, close by. They got a mortgage and real jobs, Dean working part-time in a garage, Sam on the front desk of the local library. They still hunted, but stuck to low grade hauntings and minor demon possessions. They had responsibilities now and they knew they had to stay alive, to be there for John.
He might not have a mom, but he had two eager daddies and they were determined to do right by him and not bring him up on the road as they had been, determined not to repeat the mistakes made by their own father, no matter how good his intentions had been.
John grew up into an eager and inquisitive toddler, in to everything. He was loud, wilful, stubborn, and very much loved, looking achingly like his father and acting like his uncle.
He was a Winchester through and through and there was no mistaking it.
Wherever they were, their parents would be proud of their grandson and proud of their son's attempts to raise him.
And so, Sam and Dean had a home, a family and a conventional life.
It wasn't quite what Sam had envisioned when he had dreamt of normal, it wasn't quite what he had wanted, but he loved it, loved his son, loved his brother, loved his life. He loved coming home from the library each day to find that John had learnt a new word (even if some of them were cuss words and lyrics from ACDC songs), he loved sitting round the table with Dean and eating dinner whilst talking about their day. He loved tucking John in at night and telling him stories, whilst Dean lay the salt-lines and hung the protective charms, as much part of their 'normal' as the TV dinners and the Sunday morning lie-ins.
The surprising thing was that Dean loved it too. Seeing him embrace the life, he had once shunned and hated, made Sam even happier and he watched his brother become more and more contented, the memories of hell-fire fading and new, happier ones taking their place.
This was their life now and there was no going back. Neither of them had ever thought they could have this and now they embraced it, celebrated it and cherished it.
An unexpected happy ending.