AN: I know I have other fics I need to be writing (The Pack, I can hear you calling...), but this bunny hopped in and wouldn't leave. This is Dean's version of the events in Lucas' Real Daddy.
Fatherhood by Phone
Dean was not entirely sure wanted to admit to himself why he was doing this. He really didn't want to admit it to Sammy, which was why he was making this call from the diner down the street from the motel they were staying in, but he just wanted to check in. If that made him a girl, then, well, he would just deny it for all eternity. That sounded about right. He pulled out his cell phone and punched in the phone number he'd scribbled quickly on a piece of motel stationary, that had then been crumpled up and lived in his wallet for months, only coming out now. He, he just really needed to talk now.
Dean cradled the phone close to his ear and held his breath waiting for someone to pick up. What if they'd moved? What if they'd changed the number? What if, god forbid, something had happened?
The other end picked up.
He almost couldn't talk, his heart was beating so fast, and that was probably a really bad thing, so he took some deep breaths, making sure that the mouthpiece didn't pick them up, and tried again.
"Hello?" The voice was more insistent now, as if this sort of thing was a common occurrence.
"Hey," he said, finally. "This is Dean Winchester."
The other end of the line was silent. He wondered if maybe he should remind them who he was, or maybe if he should just hang up and forget about it. He did neither, just waiting until the voice on the other end spoke again.
"Dean? It's really you?"
"Yeah," he said, exhaling on the word. "It's really me. How've you two been?"
"We thought you were dead!"
He held the phone a little away from his ear. So they knew about St. Louis. That was going to make this more difficult. Most people wouldn't let a convicted serial killer talk to their four year old.
"Yeah," he said again, "about that. I didn't kill those people, Andrea. It was a shapeshifter who looked like me. We killed it and skipped town real fast."
"Don't worry Dean," she said, and he could hear the edge of hysteria in her voice. "We were just petrified that you were dead. We never thought you'd done it. Lucas wouldn't stop watching the news reports, trying to find something that said you might be alive."
"Still kicking," said Dean, though he had to wonder for how much longer. There was no way he was telling her that, though.
"Thank god," Andrea whispered, and Dean basked in the feeling of having someone worry about him. Sure, Sammy worried about him all the time, but that was an annoying family worry. This was a good, loved worry, a worry he might be able to come home to someday. Maybe. That was looking pretty unlikely now, unless someday was in the next three weeks, and there was no way he was making Lucas watch another person die, even if this time it was just from a heart attack.
"Other than worrying about me," and here Dean inserted a chuckle for effect. It wouldn't do them any good to know just how much it meant to know that someone was worrying about him. "How've you two been holding up?" He settled himself in the booth and smiled at the waitress who brought him his pie. She smiled back, and he supposed he must look like a father and a husband, calling home and asking about the family. God, he wanted that so bad, and he would never get it now.
"We've been okay," she said, sighing. "It's been hard. We both miss dad, and I know Lucas is having trouble adjusting. He keeps losing father figures." She trailed off here, and Dean felt a pang, because he knew that pretty soon he was going to be just another one of those missing father figures. "I think he'd really like to talk to you," she said.
"I wanna talk to him too," Dean said, swallowing a bite of pie and trying not to get emotional. He didn't do emotion. That was Sammy's thing. "But I want to talk to you too."
"God, it's just so good to talk to someone who knows what happened and isn't, you know, four," she said. "That makes me sound like a bad parent."
"I know what you mean," he said. "You're great mom. Seriously, one of the best. Lucas is really lucky to have someone like you right now."
"You're really good at pep talks," she said, laughing a little now that she was feeling better.
"Had a lot of practice," he said. "You've met Sammy. You think that raised itself?"
"Ah," she said. "Well, Lucas is here now, I'll put him on."
"Okay," said Dean. "Hey, Andrea?"
"Take care of yourself," he said. "Go out, I don't know, buy some shoes or something. Don't let the world stop around you."
He could hear her smile over the phone. "I will."
"Hey, Lucas! How's it going champ?"
Lucas sounded almost out of breath, and Dean hoped that this was just because he was excited, not because he was coming down with something. Kids should be outside playing, not indoors, sick. "I heard you died. It was on TV."
"Well, I didn't die, did I?"
"Guess not," said Lucas.
"So, how're you doing in school?" Dean asked, and let the answer wash over him. He let that little bit of warmth seep into him and into his frozen heart. This was what had been missing when he was with Cassie. He'd thought that he might be able to make a family with her, but she had never made him feel this warm, not even during sex. It didn't hurt that she'd run from his hunting, while Andrea and Lucas had just accepted it as something he was. He wanted a family, would probably never get one now, but before the accident that had killed his heart, he'd gotten to thinking that maybe a ready made family wasn't so bad.
"...so, then she said that I was stupid and that I should just shut up."
"Uh huh," said Dean, laughing to himself, quietly so that Lucas couldn't hear. The waitress brought him the check and smiled at him again. He'd been on the phone the whole time he'd been in there, but it was pretty empty, and she didn't seem to mind. "So what did you do?"
"Nothing," sighed Lucas. "I walked away and let her use the swings. Now she keeps looking at me funny."
"Well, champ," said Dean, happy that it was this kind of problem he was helping resolve and not some bigger life crisis, "I think this girl might like you. She probably wants to get your attention, that's why she kicked you off the swings."
"Yes way!" Dean laughed. "So, next time you see her, why don't you go up to her and talk to her? Ask her what her favorite color is, or what kind of candy she likes?"
"I guess I could do that."
"Okay," said Dean. "So, I've got to go, kiddo, but can I talk to your mom first?"
"Sure," said Lucas, and Dean could hear him walking.
"Lucas?" Dean said, "I just want you to know that I think you're really brave, you know, for talking again. I know how hard it was, and I want you to know that I'm really proud of you."
"Thanks," Lucas whispered, and then the phone was handed over.
"What is it?" said Andrea.
"Just a real quick question and then I'll let you two get dinner," said Dean, allowing the hope that had been building this whole time one last flourish. "When is Lucas' birthday?"