AN: I know... what am I doing starting another one, right? Well, you can thank Sammygirl1963 for this one... I mentioned the idea and she twisted my arm - really, she did! Anyhow, I hope you like it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Kripke's creation... just borrowing it... I am planning on giving it back... uh... sometime. ;)
He had no idea what to do about this, really… he didn't. One minute he was having a wonderful time with a beautiful girl by the name of Alisa… Allison… uh, Ashley? The next minute he was being told what an unfit parent he was as he was tossed out of the seedy bar and landed quite spectacularly on his ass in front of a little boy not even four years old, and getting the shock of his life.
"Sammy!?!" Dean exclaimed as he looked at the small boy with dark green eyes and curly brown hair, in horror.
"Daddy, I's sowwy… I gots scawed in the 'pala!" the little boy cried before throwing himself into his daddy's arms, leaving the man completely speechless for a moment before he let loose the only thing that came to mind.
Dean watched the sun begin its path over the horizon letting him know that another day was beginning and if there was any time to test out his theory it was now. Turning his back to the window he looked at the bed on the other side of the room where a small child slept soundly, almost oblivious to the world around him.
'Ok, so it wasn't some weird assed dream then.' He thought sourly as he tried to piece together what was actually going on. He couldn't get rid of the feeling that he was missing a very important piece of the puzzle, but with the only one who could help him find it being either asleep or missing, he wasn't holding out too much hope in getting the answer he needed soon.
He had no idea how suddenly he was across the room running his fingers through the dark curls, but he had to admit it wasn't as freaky as he initially thought when he heard the boy call him 'Daddy', in fact he had to admit it had a nice ring to it. Unfortunately, the only thing he knew about the kid was he responded to the name Sammy and thought he was his dad.
Sighing, Dean turned back towards the window and felt a spear of shock run through him when he saw who was in the room as well.
"What the hell – you definitely have a death wish." Dean spat out as he marched to the demon and grabbed her jacket on the way to the door.
Ruby didn't like to be manhandled, but right now she had other things to worry about. "Nice to see you too shortbus. I take it you don't like my gift?" she said with disgust as she pulled away from Dean's grasp.
Puzzled, it took Dean a moment to make any sort of sense from the words the demon said. "You did this? What, you think you can just walk in here and change people into…"
"Into what Dean, huh? You have no clue what you're dealing with and already you think you know best? Let me tell you something, if I hadn't done what I did, Sam would be dead right now." Ruby said before looking towards the bed. "Look, I'll give you the short and sweet version. Lilith still wants Sam's head on a pike, Sam wasn't prepared for the little surprise she had planned for him last night while you were playing Casanova, I improvised that spell that little so called witch used on you and presto – instant Sammy Winchester, only son to the one and only Dean Winchester - widower in some obscure universe. Now do you get it? The only way to save him was to… change him, or merge him, or – whatever. I'm not saying it's not without flaws…" seeing Dean's suspicious look she decided to give him what she knew. "Look Dean, when Sam got his little girl, she was from a whole family and everything was great – she had her grandparents, mom and dad, even Uncle Dean with his family. Where I pulled this Sammy from – let's just say, the war is already waging and the humans aren't faring well."
Stunned, Dean backed up a bit before he sat heavily on the other bed before turning around and taking another look at the small boy in still sleeping. "He looks just like…"
"Yeah, I know. Look I don't know all the details and I probably shouldn't have done it, but it couldn't be helped. Either this happened, or he died." Ruby said sadly. She wasn't sorry she did it, but she was sorry for whatever pain it might cause Sam. "I'm out of here, Lilith won't stay fooled for long, but from what I can tell you did well in trying to shield him – in fact, I can barely tell he's there."
It didn't take much effort for Dean's patience to disappear and he was off the bed ready to attack when he noticed that she was already gone.
"Damn it!" he yelled, not thinking about the sleeping boy. When he turned back around though, he was in for a surprise when he saw alert eyes watching him. "Hey there… uh… sorry about that. Look kid, I think you and I need to have a little talk, don't you?"
"Sure Daddy, watchu wanna talk 'bout?" the little boy asked while watching everything around him with wide eyes.
Whatever Dean had wanted to say flew out the window as soon as Ruby's words caught up with him. It was the same spell that had been used on him several months ago, and although he was thankful not to be in the pit, he had his own set of nightmares to contend with – namely life as a four year old little girl who thought the sun and moon set on her daddy. He didn't remember much, and when he did it was while he was sleeping, but the bits of pieces he got were clear and he felt every emotion so strongly from that little girl that it gave him a whole other insight to what he needed to do.
Sighing, Dean ran his hand through his hair and walked over to the boy who looked so much like his little brother at that age. "So... uh… Sammy… how about you and me go get some breakfast, ok?"
"K Daddy, then we's goin' to see Aunt Ell-en?" Sammy asked innocently as he watched the other man carefully.
"Tell you what, you eat all your breakfast and I'll take you to see a friend of mine… Bobby. He'll be able…"
Sammy's eyes got big, as in saucer sized, before he suddenly asked in a quiet gasp. "Wif th' angels, Daddy?"
It took a moment for Dean to realize that what he was seeing wasn't awe at the idea of seeing an angel, but fear, and he couldn't help but understand that that was so wrong somehow. "Sammy, what's wrong with angels?" he asked, hoping for more information to help him in this insane situation.
"You know Daddy… some are bad!" Sammy whispered as if telling some horrendous secret that should never have come out of his mouth.
Dean looked at the boy in front of him and wondered just what this kid had seen in his short life. Deciding that interrogating the munchkin wasn't going to help the situation, he held out his hand and waited until the boy jumped off the bed and grasped the larger hand with his tiny one. "How about you and me eat first, then you can tell me all about it, ok? Then I'll take you to visit with Bobby and you won't have to worry about angels there, ok?" Seeing the contemplative look on the four year olds face, he was starting to think that his suggestion would be rejected.
"K Daddy, I loves you!" the little boy beamed before turning his attention to the window and began to watch it warily, as if he knew what great secrets it held while everyone else was clueless.
'Oh yeah, this'll be fun.' Dean thought as he grasped little Sammy's hand tighter and they began their short walk towards the diner, unaware that they were being watched from the alley across the street.
Bobby had no idea what to expect when Dean called the day before practically begging for a place to crash until he could 'figure this kid out.' He didn't know when Sam had become 'this kid', but he had a feeling that there was a story to go along with it. As he looked around the house he tried to remember what he was forgetting, but for the life of him he couldn't place it. He'd already made sure the upstairs bedroom was ready for the boys' visit, gone to the store to make sure there was enough food for all of them for the next week at least in case whatever was going on had them holed up for awhile, he freshened the wards and even put a few new blessings in place to make sure nothing sneaked in and caught them unawares. It didn't take long to get everything ready, but more time to make it look like he hadn't given a damn if they showed up or not – there was no way he was going to get a reputation for being soft.
He was just about to make another go around the house to figure out what he was forgetting, but the sound of the very familiar Impala brought him back the immediate problem at hand – what had Dean running scared?
Opening the door and stepping out onto the small porch at the side of the house he squinted a bit at the bright light that the afternoon sun brought. He wasn't ready for the tense man who stepped out of the black car, and wondered just what had him in that mood when the passenger door slowly opened and a small boy climbed out – a small boy who looked just like Sam!
"Dean – what the…" Bobby began but stopped as he saw the child's reverent expression. "Sammy?" he asked softly, wondering what was going through this tiny version's mind.
"You's awive Uncle Bobby?" Sammy asked, amazed at what he was seeing right there in front of him.
Flabbergasted, Bobby had no idea what to think about that especially when he heard Dean's patient response.
"See kiddo, I told you Uncle Bobby was alive here. You need to give your old man some credit, ok?" Dean said with a slight smile as he gently guided the small Winchester up the steps. "Hey Bobby, you got anything to drink for two road weary travelers?"
Nodding, Bobby stood to the side and motioned them inside, unsure exactly what was going on or how they were going to fix it.
Dean wasn't sure how much more either he or the little Sammy could take. The past twenty four hours had hit hard and his mind was still spinning at what he'd already found out, but his stomach wanted to rebel at the thought that he didn't have all the answers yet.
Yesterday was an interesting experience as the whole time they were at the diner Sammy wouldn't stray further than two inches from him, would only eat from his 'Daddy's' plate while completely refusing to order something separate, and anytime someone would come within three feet of them the small boy would say "Cwisto!" making him wonder once again just what the kid had already seen in his three or four years. Thinking about yesterday brought a whole new set of heartbreak when he suddenly remembered their stop at the small motel right off the highway.
"Ok Sammy, since we're staying here tonight I need to do a few things to the room to make sure…"
"…we's safe Daddy, I knows. I's helps too, 'member?" Sammy asked with wide eyes as he reached into his daddy's bag and grabbed the canister of salt and slowly but meticulously laid out the salt lines along the door and windows before running as fast as he could to the bathroom where he somehow managed to climb up and do the same to the windowsill above the bathtub.
Shocked, Dean could only stare at how well the boy had done it before he felt a heavy sense of sadness that no child that small should know how to do that so well. That thought was driven away at remembering how he would watch his dad lay out the salt lines while he would take care of Sammy. It wasn't until another year had passed before he was allowed to help and he had thought himself so grown up then that he hadn't even wondered just how messed up the whole situation was – his main thought had been how he was big enough to help keep Sammy and their Daddy safe. Now as he looked at a smaller version on himself, he wanted to scrub that memory clean and replace it with a new one – one that had him, Sammy and their Dad playing happily in their backyard while a small puppy chased its tail in the background.
"Daddy, I's done." Sammy said happily before he put the container back in the exact spot it came from.
Dean was about to give the small boy an appreciative amount of praise when he saw that same boy practically dive back into the bag. It didn't take long for Sammy to come back up for air, and what was in the boy's hand made Dean want to swipe it away and hide it. The knife that he normally put under his pillow was now nestled in the tiny hands before it was put very carefully under the pillow of the bed closest to the door. "Uh, thanks Sammy – you did good little dude, real good."
Puzzled, Sammy looked at his daddy for a moment. "I's just did what's I's 'posed to Daddy."
Sadly, Dean sat in the chair next to him and motioned for Sammy to sit on his lap. When the little boy was nestled close Dean suddenly realized that he had no idea what to do or say next. If this was his little brother then he'd know immediately what the little guy was feeling and why, but this was his son if Ruby was right – a son that he didn't know, that he knew nothing about. Sighing, he tightened his hold on the small body and noticed something that he should have been aware of a lot sooner – the kid was as tense as a bow string. Rubbing the small back, he started to hum a tune he'd heard somewhere but hadn't really paid attention to, just something slow and soft and with enough of a rhythm that if he did it right… the small boy… would… fall… asleep…
After placing Sammy into the furthest bed, Dean stood back and watched the small boy and understood that some things were beyond him until he got some more information. Placing a quick phone call to the only person he knew he could trust he made sure that it was alright to barge into Bobby's life but didn't give too many details. He didn't know why, but he had a feeling that they were being watched and any information over the phone right now could be overheard. Feeling a bit more confident about the situation, he pulled the chair to the middle of the room and sat vigil throughout the night, determined not to allow anyone or anything to hurt what was his.
Now he was watching the little boy climb on a chair to get a glass out of a cabinet that he shouldn't know a damn thing about, and that thought was enough to make him wonder if the whole damn universe thought the Winchester's were nothing but play toys born only for the amusement of the great cosmos. Sighing, he walked over and got the glass that was being stubborn by not jumping into Sammy's hand.
"Here you go kiddo. How about I help you with the milk, ok?" Dean asked as he scooped Sammy up into his arms and made his way to the refrigerator. He couldn't help but notice just how thin the little boy was and had started to wonder how to fix that when Sammy spoke up and another piece fell into place.
"Uncle Bobby has milk Daddy?" Sammy asked, not believing such a wild tale. When he saw the refrigerator door open and he saw for himself the large bottle that sat there, his eyes got huge. "Can I's has some, peese Daddy?"
Shocked by the pleading quality in Sammy's voice, Dean could only nod and pulled the container out and somehow managed to pour the milk in the glass and not all over the floor or the small boy. He stood there and watched in amazement as Sammy drank the whole glass without coming up for air. "Dude, slow down – breathe a minute." Dean said more concerned that the kid was going to choke, but he suddenly felt like an ass as he saw that his words had been misinterpreted.
Sammy looked down at his empty glass with sadness. "I's sowwy Daddy, I didn' mean to be bad."
Dean looked over and saw the sadness in Bobby's face and he had to agree – no one should feel bad for doing something so natural, especially a child. "Hey buddy, look at me. I'm not mad. I just thought you might choke drinking it so fast, ok? How about another glass full and this time you drink it slower with cookies, ok?"
The shocked look on Sammy's face didn't go unnoticed on either of the grown men's faces, but neither said anything about it. Instead, they both watched in awe as the small boy drank two more glasses of milk before finally sitting back in his chair and announced, "I's done, Daddy."
Neither one was prepared for what happened next though after they suggested Sammy go and lay down for awhile. While Dean and Bobby were expecting Sammy to go upstairs, instead he opened the basement door and disappeared inside. Worried if not downright panicked, they both rushed off after the small boy and stood in horror as they saw Sammy open the panic room and settle himself into the small bed as if he'd done it his whole life.
"Sammy, what the hell are you doing?" Dean yelled out, scaring the boy in front of him. "We told you to go and take a nap – what are you doing in here?"
Large tears streamed down Sammy's face before he could even begin to explain, confused at what he'd done wrong. "Bbbbut Dddaddy, tthis is where I's away's seep. Yyyou says I's safe here awwways."
The thought that slammed into Dean's brain wasn't hard to decipher, it was plain, simple and to the point. 'What the hell?' The reality that this small boy had come from had to be completely out of control for his other self to feel the need to lock up his little boy in a demon free safe room anytime the kid would be out of sight for any length of time.
"Ah, c'mere Sammy." Dean said as he crouched down to the boy's level. "I'm sorry I yelled at you, I didn't know. But you need to know something, and I need you to listen really well, ok? You are safe here. You don't have to go into the panic room any time you want to take a nap or play, ok? While me and Bobby are here, nothing bad's going to get you. Do you understand?" Seeing that he wasn't going to get an actual answer, he picked Sammy up and held him close while going back through the basement and up the stairs until he found his way to the room they normally used when visiting. It took a few minutes to calm the little boy down, but in those few minutes Dean finally understood – this was his son, his little boy, and there was no way in hell anyone or anything was going to scare or hurt him again.
AN: Ok, if you don't like it... let me know... I can always delete it and try again later. Oh, but if you like it... let me know too... so I can keep going. :)