A/N: Here is the sequel to If I Fell. It picks up about a month after the end of the previous story.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural; I just like to play
It was harder than he thought it was going to be. He had a tiny little person to look after now so it wasn't like he could go off on a hunt anymore. No, he had to be responsible and responsibility meant finding a place to live and settling down to give his daughter the best possible life he could.
He did miss his old life though. He missed going on hunts with Sam; he missed the travelling in the Impala and he missed the freedom.
But most of all he missed Emma. It had been nearly a year since Dean had last seen her; before she had found out about his life and freaked, before she had broken his heart and sold her soul, before their daughter was born. Michelle was nearly three months old now and looking more and more like Emma every day. Her hair was dark; just like her mother's and the more hair that grew, the curlier it became. Her eyes were dark and beautiful; they looked mysterious and thoughtful. She was the most beautiful little girl he had ever seen.
And yet his heart broke every time he looked into her eyes. Dean was constantly reminded of Emma and the time they had spent together. They had met when he and Sam had been on a werewolf hunt and they had both fallen down a hole. Several weeks in hospital and many visits later they had started a relationship. That had ended when she had discovered he was a hunter; she had refused to believe in the supernatural until she had been attacked by her ex-boyfriend, who also happened to be a werewolf. She had been infected but instead of telling Dean she summoned a crossroads demon and sold her soul for Michelle. Dean didn't even know until after she had been born.
Now Michelle was nearly a month old and she and Dean lived in a small apartment. Sam and Joanne; Sam's fiancé, were still hunting but they still kept in touch; Sam phoned almost every day since the pair had left a couple of weeks ago. Life had pretty much settled down for everyone.
But Dean still missed his own life. And looking after a little baby was very hard. From what he could remember when Sam was a month old, he hadn't been this much work. Or maybe it was his four year old mind distorting things. Or maybe his parents had just been better at this than he was. He couldn't decide which one it was; his sleep deprived mind couldn't think of anything more than feeding and changing. She seemed to cry all the time; he couldn't seem to get her to stop. He was beginning to feel like a failure as a father.
She was crying right now, at four in the morning. He had tried feeding her, burping her and changing her but she still cried. He was feeling very frustrated; like he couldn't do anything right.
"Sweetheart," he said softly to his wailing daughter. "Are you gonna go to sleep for daddy? Come on; just for a little while." She kept crying. "What do you want?" He asked her tiredly, "I don't know what you want." Michelle didn't stop crying; in fact her wails become louder and more frantic. Holding Michelle in his arms he picked up the phone and dialled. He was at a loss as what to do.
"Hello?" A very sleepy sounding Sam came down the line.
"Sam?" Dean replied.
"Dean, do you know what time it is?"
"It's four in the morning," Dean replied; sounding slightly sarcastic.
"Yeah it is, so what do you want?" Sam couldn't keep the irritation out of his voice.
"I can't do this."
"Can't do what?"
"I can't do this; live a normal life; get a job, look after Shelly."
"What's brought this on?"
"I can't be dad; I suck at it," he told his brother.
"You don't suck at it. You've always been good with kids."
"Well obviously I'm not good with kids; if I was then I would be able to stop her crying. But she won't," he said with frustration in his voice.
"Dean; she can probably feel your fear and that's why she's always crying. You just gotta calm down."
"How can I calm down? I really can't do this," he said with the added emphasis on really. "I can't be responsible for her."
"You we're always responsible for me," Sam told his brother which made Dean stop in his tracks. "You looked after me and I turned out okay."
"Well apart from the fact that you're my dorky brother," Dean said with a smile on his face. Sam simply rolled his eyes.
"You just gotta have a little confidence."
"You're right," Dean sighed. "I guess I'm just panicking 'cos I'm on my own here."
"Joanne and I could swing by."
"You don't have to."
"But I want to. I haven't seen my niece in a couple of weeks. Last time I saw her she was tiny."
"She still is tiny, except for her voice."
"We'll be there tomorrow night; I promise."
"Sam, you really don't have to…" Dean started but Sam cut him off.
"It's already been decided, okay?"
"But you're on a hunt," Dean protested.
"The hunt can wait. I want to see Shelly again so no matter how much you protest we're coming so shut up and get ready for tomorrow."
"Fine," Dean gave in. "I'd better go; see if I can get Shelly to settle down. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Bye Dean," Sam said before hanging up. He smiled to himself. He'd actually wanted an excuse to see Dean again; life hunting just wasn't as appealing without his brother, even with Joanne by his side. Besides; he really just wanted to see Michelle again. Maybe Dean had the right idea when he'd stopped hunting; Sam had been thinking that a lot lately. He wanted to settle down with Joanne; get married and maybe have a couple of kids of their own. Watching Dean with Michelle made that thought all the more appealing.
"Who was that?" Joanne asked; she was still half asleep and slightly confused.
"It was Dean," Sam replied. "He's freaking out again. I told him we'd drop by tomorrow."
"Great," she sleepily replied. "A whole day we'll spend travelling."
Michelle finally calmed down shortly after Dean had got off the phone to Sam. He breathed a huge sigh of relief as her breathing evened out and her eyes closed. Now he could just sit there and appreciate how amazing she actually was. She was still so small; she had wrapped her hand around his finger and it looked so tiny compared to him. He gently placed her into her crib and she didn't stir when he let her go.
He stood and watched her sleep for a while before he switched off the light and quietly closed the door behind him. He sat down in the living room and looked at the photograph of Emma resting on the table. He picked it up and stared at her. She was beautiful; her long, dark and curly hair hung loosely around her shoulders and the light in her eyes matched her smile. Dean's heart ached a little. He wished every day that he could have saved her; or protected her from her psycho werewolf ex who cruelly ended her life. He wished she could be there to see Michelle grow up instead of her soul being in hell; unable to rest for all of eternity.
That's what made Dean hurt the most; the fact she was in hell right now and there was nothing he could do to save her. He understood her reasons for doing what she did but it didn't take the sting off. He was still powerless to help her in any way.
He must have fallen asleep because when he woke up it was light outside and Shelly was still fast asleep. His neck ached from sleeping on the sofa but at least he didn't feel as exhausted as he had done over the last month. Standing up; he made his way to Shelly's room. She was still fast asleep; her tiny hand curled into a fist. She looked so peaceful. Dean didn't want to wake her up.
"Come on sweetie," he said gently as he picked her up. She stirred slightly but didn't start crying. "Time for breakfast."
Sam and Joanne arrived early in the evening.
"Hey," Joanne greeted Dean as she gave him a quick hug. "How're you doing?"
"Apart from the lack of sleep I'm doin' okay," he told her.
"Well, that's what we're here for," she smiled. "Now where's my future niece?" She asked.
"She's in her crib; I just got her to sleep."
"I'm just gonna go and check on her," she smiled and headed towards Dean's room leaving Sam and Dean alone.
"How are you really?" Sam asked.
"I'm great," Dean said with a grin but it didn't make his eyes. Sam could see that not everything was fine.
"Then what was the phone call about?" He replied; calling Dean's bluff. "Not everything was great last night.
"Momentary lapse, I'm fine really," Dean tried to brush him off but Sam wouldn't have any of it.
"Dean, you can admit when you're struggling. You pretty much did that last night. That's why we're here; to help you."
Dean really wanted to say that he was fine on his own and that he didn't need any help but he knew that was a lie and there was no was that Sam would be convinced in the slightest.
"You look exhausted."
"So would you if you hadn't had a full night's sleep in a month."
"Then get some. Joanne and I will take care of things and you rest. You'll feel better for it."
"I don't want to be a burden."
"You're not being a burden. Believe it or not this is what family is for. You don't have to carry all this by yourself; you are allowed to ask for help."
"I don't think you do. You seem determined to do this by yourself and you're wearing yourself into the ground. Listen, Joanne and I are gonna stick around for as long as you need us. Now go and get some sleep."
"Okay," Dean gave in and gave his brother a resigned smile.
It was almost midnight when Dean woke up. He pushed the covers of his bed off his body and clambered out of bed before heading to the living room. He found Sam sitting on the sofa cradling Shelly.
"How is she?" Dean asked as he sat down next to them.
"She's okay; she was fussing a little earlier but she's calmed down now."
"How long has she been out?"
"Not long, 'bout 30 minutes or so. How are you feeling?"
"Better now I've slept."
"She looks like Emma doesn't she?" Sam observed; staring at her sleeping form.
"Yeah; I know. I can see more of Emma in her everyday," he said; Sam noticed the hint of sadness in Dean's voice. Sam knew that Dean had loved Emma, even if he had never said it and her death had hit him hard. Seeing Michelle had to hurt him.
"You miss her."
"I always missed her. There were so many things that I wanted to say to her and I'm never gonna have the chance to do that."
"I know how you feel. It's the exact same way I felt when Jess died. You're second guessing everything that you did; thinking of ways that you could've saved her. I did that too and you know what you said?"
"That it was killing you."
"That's right, and if you keep doing it then it'll kill you too. You have more to live for; you have your daughter to look after."
"I know and I totally get what you're saying but it's hard."
"Then you just gotta focus on the more important things; like bringing up you're daughter. I think that's why you're finding it so difficult and I think Michelle senses it too. You just gotta let the pain go."
"You're right. Sam; there's something that I need to do."
"What do you need to do?"
"I need to say goodbye."