AN: Well, it looks like we've come to the end of another one. Honestly, I don't feel like this is my best, but hopefully that won't detract from everyone else enjoying it.
Dean stood by the Impala and watched as his brother and niece made mud pies, thinking that if there was any more beautiful sight than that he'd hand over his keys. He tried not to think too much about the past few weeks, but couldn't help but feel proud of how far Sammy had come in not only recovering from his illness, but dealing with the visions that apparently was becoming more frequent in nature. It hadn't always been that way and he hated thinking about the tests the doctors practically demanded to run when a particular intense vision hit just as one of the doctors had begun his examination. Sure, they could laugh about it now, but at the time… not so much.
"De!" Mary Jess demanded as she smiled and looked towards her uncle, her mud clad arms insisting he come join her.
"Looks like someone wants you to play," Sam said with a smile. He knew that it was taking a lot for everyone to allow him the freedom he was used to, and he appreciated it… really. But if he saw one more anxious look aimed his way he was sure he was going to lose it! It was one thing for them to worry about Mary Jess, she was still a baby… and a sick one at that, but for them to constantly fuss over him was really beginning to wear thin.
Laughing, Dean shook his head. "Yeah, I don't think so, Sammy. Tell you what, you two start rebuilding a carburetor and I'm there, ok? I think I'll leave the domesticated stuff to the two girls of the family."
John watched his boys banter, thankful that they had this second chance. He'd had plenty of time to go over what had gone wrong these past several years, and he was man enough to admit most of the problem had been him and his obsession in finding Mary's killer as well as keeping the boys safe and prepared. Now he understood that it was his unwillingness to allow his youngest to be different from his brother that had first chiseled a crack into their family, and he wasn't willing to make the same mistakes.
"Dean, why don't you and Mary Jess finish up, Sammy and I need to talk about a few things." He said as we walked into view.
Pausing only for a moment, Dean nodded before beginning his good natured grumblings about having a reputation to uphold and this would definitely put a crimp in it if word got around.
Sam looked puzzled first at his dad then at Dean before letting out a deep breath and resigning himself that playtime was over and that obviously the real fun was about to begin. Assuring his baby girl that he'd be close by, he followed his dad through the garden and silently waited for the shoe to drop.
"Sam, I hope that you know that what happened before… well, I'm not proud of. I wanted things done my way, and forgot exactly what I was really doing it for in the first place."
Sensing his dad wasn't done, Sam waited and listened, hoping that whatever was about to be said next wouldn't tear his life apart again, he'd just begun to get used to having his big brother around again.
"Look, we all know that you can take care of yourself and your little girl, but I think it's time you stopped doing it on your own. There's too many unknowns right now with your visions and the demon that killed your mom still on the loose and I'd feel more comfortable if…"
"If what Dad? If I were in your sights at all times? If you could watch me and make sure I didn't do something stupid?"
Shocked, John stood and stared at his son for a moment before shaking his head. "No, son! I'm trying to tell you that I want us together as a family again. No, that's not right… I want us to be the family that we should have been. Damn it, I'm not doing this well am I?" he sighed and looked away for a moment before turning back to Sam. "A buddy of mine called while you were in the hospital. He has a place in southern Wyoming he needs to get rid of and since I already know its history he was hoping I'd be able to help him find someone to buy it. It's a four bedroom farmhouse with fifty acres attached and no one wants to buy it because the original owners refuse to leave… a hundred years after their deaths."
Sam wasn't sure what to think, so instead… he didn't. As he continued to stare at his dad, the words just uttered kept skipping through his brain as he tried to sort the meaning behind them. Finally though, after becoming aware of his dad's concerned look he asked, "Just to be clear, you want me and Mary Jess to follow you and Dean to God knows where and, I'm assuming, move into a haunted house? Really?"
John wasn't sure what to think. He had been so sure he knew what to say and how to say it to keep his boy from turning tail and running, but now he was trying hard to figure out what the hell he'd said to create such a response. What the hell was Sammy laughing for?
Sam couldn't stop laughing. Of all the things he'd expected, this wasn't' one of them, "I mean really Dad… only in our family would it be considered normal to spend years dodging crazy grandmothers, hit men, demons and then turn around and live in a house straight out of Beetlejuice!"
Dean heard his brother laughing and shook his head. He'd tried to talk his dad into waiting, to ease Sammy into the idea, but no… the man had his own ideas. Looking at the little girl next to him, Dean smiled and pulled her into his arms.
"Come on Little Bit, it's time to get cleaned up… I have a feeling we're in for a long night."
Giggling, Mary Jess accepted the ride from her uncle and laid her head down on his shoulder as he walked towards the house. Looking towards the tree line she stuck her tongue out and decisively turned her head away.
He'd been watching from a safe distance for awhile and what he saw pleased him immensely. Not only was little Sammy a daddy now, giving him a vulnerability that would be very useful at a later date, but now John and Dean would be too busy to take the hunt as seriously as before. Combine that with the fact that Sam's powers were developing just fine, it was definitely a day to celebrate.
Seeing the little girl stick her tongue out in his direction, he suppressed the urge to laugh at her obvious defiance.
"Oh little one, if you only knew what I have planned for your daddy… you wouldn't be so brave." He said, allowing his yellow eyes to flash before he disappeared, leaving nothing in his wake but the slight hint of sulfur and his echoing laughter behind.