Well the story was pretty much done, but here's a nice cap to finish it off, now that I finally had time! I'm still planning on writing that third installment in that series sometime, and how soon depends on interest, I suppose. the title would be "Time's Full Circle" if anyone wants to give their two cents on that...lol. Anyway, here you go! I hope you enjoy it, and please do review! Thanks so much to everyone who's reviewed this story and it's predecessor in the past. Thanks!
When Sam hadn't shown himself by noon the next day, Dean had had enough. The plan had been to jump on the net, find something to do, and squeeze in a hunt before school started in a couple of weeks. Maybe fifth grade wasn't a major stepping stone, but Dean didn't plan on missing Ben's first day again this year.
"Hey, Sam! Get your lazy ass out of—" He opened the door and stopped, completely caught off guard by the sight of a feminine figure ducking under the covers, and Sam sitting up and staring at him like a deer caught in the headlights.
Dean's eyebrows went up, and a smirk quickly took the place of the surprise and the annoyance that had come before it. Strange though. He'd known there were single moms at the party, but Sam hadn't seemed interested.
"Oh excuse me. Remember to lock the door next time though, Sammy. Kid in the house, and all." With that he turned to go, but he heard his brother jump up behind him.
He held up a hand to wave him off. "Don't worry about it; I don't need to know."
Sam caught up and held the door closed. "I think you need to know this."
His brother let out a breath and nodded toward the bed. "Well..."
Sam had to motion again before Dean would really turn around and look, but suddenly it was his turn to adopt the deer-in-headlights look when he saw who sat up to wave tentatively.
He blinked a few times and looked at Sam. "Please tell me that's not who I think it is."
"Why? Would there be something wrong with that?"
"It could be harmful to my sanity."
His brother smirked. "Sorry."
Dean looked back at the young woman dressed only in a white nightgown, who was standing to approach them. "So...Jessica. Long time no see."
"Since the one time you saw me, anyway."
"Yeah...sorry about the whole dangerously-close-to-hitting-on-you thing. I wasn't married then."
She crossed her arms and smirked at him. "I suppose you're forgiven."
Dean smirked back weakly, still more than a little disoriented, and looked back to his brother. "I like her already." The smirk quickly fell. " Would you please tell me what the hell we got another dead person walking around here for?"
"Thanks for that, Dean. We 'dead people' are really feeling the love."
"You know what I mean!"
Sam grinned. "Yeah." He looked over his brother's shoulder at Jessica, and he looked happier than Dean had ever seen him. "Apparently I didn't know about it, but this was the plan all along."
Dean glanced at her again. "To send her back too?"
Jessica sidled up to Sam and slipped am arm around him. "Indeed it was. Sam here just had another lesson or two of his own to learn first." She kissed him, and Dean smirked when it turned into a production.
"God you two; get a room."
Sam extracted himself just enough to raise an eyebrow and glance at his brother. "We have a room; you're the one who barged in."
"Yeah, there's that," Dean chuckled, shaking his head in bewilderment. "I guess we can worry about introductions to everyone else later."
"Sounds good," Sam answered, looking back to Jessica.
Dean pulled the door open behind him and backed out. "Yeah, I'll just...go find Lisa and Bobby. You kids come out when you're done playing."
"Shut up, Dean." Sam closed the door in his face, but Dean caught a glimpse of another smile before his view was blocked. He was left in the hallway, still stunned now that he had time to think about it and feeling a bit like a whirlwind had just blown through.
Great. He wasn't worried about Bobby or Ben, but how the hell was he going to explain this to Lisa?
For much too long a moment Lisa just stared at him. "Another one?" she questioned finally.
Dean winced apologetically. "Look, I'm sorry; none of us had any idea..."
"I know, I know. It's not your fault." She crossed her arms and leaned on the kitchen counter. "It's just that I think I was finally adjusting to having one previously dead person living in the house...Not that it's Sam's fault, or anything. He's great....it's just the whole idea..."
"I had a feeling you weren't quite as okay with it as you said you were."
She sighed. "It's not that I'm not okay with it. It's just that a normal human being thrown into this world of yours has to stop and say 'whoa, slow down' at some point, don't you think?"
He nodded slowly. "To be honest, I thought that point would have been a long time ago for you. So far you've been a lot better about all of the weird stuff than you should have had to be, and if this is a little overboard, that's okay. We can get the two of them a motel room for a while or something..."
Lisa shook her head and rubbed at her temple. "No, no I wouldn't hear of it, I just...need a minute." Dean gave it to her, standing at her elbow just in case, and she looked up she launched right back in.
"I don't see any problem with them staying in that room for now, but that's another mouth to feed, and we've got little whatever-this-is coming too," she said, glancing down. "We're a little strained right now as it is, and we've only just started in on the medical expenses."
Dean pulled her in by the waist and kept her close. "I know that, and I told you I'd get a day job if I have to. Sam and I have been talking about that anyway; we knew we'd probably have to eventually if we were going to pull our own weight around here. We can only go so far with the old credit cards scams when we're not moving around, and all..."
"Not that I ever liked the idea of you pulling those at all, but what would a job do to your hunting...?"
"There ways to hunt and still hold at least part-times jobs. I can't say I've never done it before, and Dad definitely had to a few times to keep the three of us fed way back when. It's not a foreign concept; just one I'm not all that fond of."
Lisa's arms went around his neck. "I don't want you to do something you'll hate."
"I'll hate doing anything but being here with you guys or being out hunting with Sam. That's just the way I am." He kissed her. "But I'll do it if I need to."
"Because you love me?"
"No, but what's-it's-name gets my vote," Dean smirked.
"You think you're so funny."
"I think I'm hilarious."
She kissed him again, but after a minute or two she pulled back as if she'd thought of something. "Dean?"
"Ben's never heard anything about this Jessica, right?"
"No, I don't think so..."
She chewed a lip for a moment. "Could we maybe...not tell him yet that she was dead? I don't mean never tell him, but maybe wait until he's older? I know we didn't have a choice but to tell him about your brother, because he'd already heard about him, but this is different..."
"What do you mean? You don't think he'd be all right with this too?"
"It's not that. I'm a mother. I know he seems fine with all of this weird stuff, but can't I be protective?"
Dean looked at her for a moment. "Yeah. Okay. I guess he doesn't really need to know for now..."
She kissed his nose. "Thank you."
He grimaced and swiped at the offended part of his face. "Hey, could let me retain at least a little of my macho dignity?"
"Sorry; won't happen again," Lisa answered gravely. She smiled in amusement and extracted herself from his arms. "I'd better go find this woman some clothes."
Dean smirked, kissed, her cheek, and let her go as he retreated to the living room to find Bobby and see if Sam and Jessica had emerged yet.
They hadn't, but Bobby was still pacing the floor of the main room. He stopped when he saw Dean. "How'd she take it?"
"She'll be fine; how are you doing on this one?"
"More than a little curious, all things considered."
"Join the club."
It was then that Ben came bolting in from the back yard. "Dad, Dad, Dean!" The two terms were used interchangeably these days, but from Ben Dean answered to either. It was a work in progress, but surprisingly being called 'Dad' hadn't taken quite as long to get used to as he'd feared. He had to admit that...well, he kind of liked it, after he'd gotten over the initial strangeness.
Well he'd better like it. He really would be a father in a few months.
But no time for premature panicking now. Besides, it was a good thing.
Ben skidded to a stop beside them. "You too, Uncle Bobby. Where's Sam? You guys are missing some great basketball weather out there."
"Yeah, I know, but we've kind of got a situation; actually I was about to come get you," Dean answered.
"Yeah, uh...an old friend of Sam's is here, actually. He hasn't seen her in a while, and she'll probably be staying with us for a while."
Ben's eyebrows went up. "It's a girlfriend? Cool. Are they like, dating or something?"
"I'm really not sure how you'd classify those two, but I guess that's close enough."
"Sweet. We need another chick around here anyway; just having mom kind of throws everything out of balance."
Dean blinked at him; even Ben could be...interesting, sometimes. "Uhm, yeah. Sure," he answered vaguely, exchanging an amused glance with Bobby.
Then again, maybe the kid wasn't so far from right.
They'd been all right before, but maybe this was exactly what they needed.
Bobby watched Dean watching Sam and Jessica and Lisa, and thanked God or The Powers That Be or whatever it really was, exactly, that had done all of this. Dean had been more than fine, and Sam really had been all right, and maybe that meant Jessica Moore's return was an inordinate amount of icing on the cake, but that didn't mean it was unappreciated.
Sam was happier than Bobby had ever thought he would see him, and it was certainly welcome. Jessica—wearing an extra pair of Lisa's jeans and a shirt fresh from the dryer—was at the kitchen counter chatting up a get-to-know session with the woman of the house while Sam sat on another stool at her elbow. He hadn't been more than foot or so from her since the two of them had emerged from the room that was now, apparently, theirs.
But that Bobby could understand, and Dean seemed to get it too despite the good amount of smirking he was doing.
"Lisa and Jessica seem to have hit it off," Bobby commented finally. He and Dean were in the living room, staying out of the way for now, and Dean finally turned back to the television program he'd supposedly been watching for the last half hour.
More than likely he'd barely seen five minutes of it.
"What? Oh, yeah—looks that way. What do you think?"
Bobby shrugged. "Well I don't know much about her yet, but I like what I've seen. My opinion's not important, anyway; I know Sam, and I know he'd have never been with her in the first place if she wasn't a decent girl."
Dean smiled sadly. "He never would talk about her much before, but from what I did here I get the feeling she's pretty great. That's good...I want him to have that."
"Well aren't you just turning into an old softie."
"Shut up, Bobby."
Seven Months Later
Jessica was dozing lightly on Sam's shoulder and Ben was out on Bobby's when Dean returned to the waiting room for the first time in several hours, and Sam tapped his wife's shoulder until she was awake enough to let him stand.
"Dean?" he asked eagerly.
Bobby looked up, then glanced at the sleeping boy. "Should I wake this one up?
Dean looked a little dazed. "What? No...not there yet."
"Then what is it? You should be back there with Lisa."
"Yeah, yeah, I know, I just..." He bent over his knees, going quickly from motionless to hyperventilation.
Sam caught a shoulder and pulled him up straight again, and Jessica rubbed the sleep from her eyes and jumped to help.
"Dean! What the hell—"
"Exactly!" his brother complained.
"What the hell! What the hell am I doing? Taking over for Ben is one thing; he's already half grown! How the hell am I supposed to raise a kid? I was never meant to have my own! This is crazy! And it's a girl for god's sakes!"
Sam let out a breath, exchanged a glance with Jessica and nodded toward the chairs lining the wall. She helped him haul his brother over to one. "Dean, calm down. You are going to be fine; you can do this," he said as they went.
Dean dropped heavy into the chair. "Oh really?"
Sam took a seat beside his brother and shrugged. "Dean, I do okay, but I've never had your way with kids. You don't even have to try; they just love you."
"Are you kidding? I scare most of them away."
"That's what you'd like to think," he smirked.
Jessica put a hand on his arms and squeezed gently. "Listen to him, Dean. Maybe I haven't been here long by comparison, but I saw a lot from up there. I have to go with Sam on this one. I think you're worrying about nothing."
"Look at all the good you've done Ben over the last couple of years. This kids loves you a lot," Bobby added. "And it's not because you hunt monsters and bought him a BB-gun."
A nurse emerged from the hallway, and Dean looked up anxiously; he seemed to recognize her. Sure enough, she bustled over when she spotted him. "Sir, your wife sent me after you. She'll be ready to push soon."
Dean glanced back at his brother, but the panic had receded to a silent freak-out.
"Get going," Bobby ordered.
Dean smirked weakly at the familiar tone and stood, and Sam stood with him and all but pushed him after the nurse. "We'll be right here, Dean."
He took a deep breath and nodded, finally giving them a real smile. "Right. Thanks." Then he was gone again, and Sam just shook his head and sat down.
"Will he be okay?" Jessica asked.
"By the time he comes back out you'll never know that happened. He'll probably deny it later, anyway."
She smirked. "Though I have a feeling that won't stop him from throwing a few of those lines back if you freak out on us—big brother that he is."
Sam glanced back at her in confusion. "What would I have to freak out about?"
"Maybe nothing; you have eight months to plan strategies for not losing it," she answered casually, entwining an arm with one of his.
He stared at her. "Excuse me?"
Jessica kissed his cheek. "Our turn," she answered, reaching up smilingly to finger her free hand through his hair.
Sam swallowed. "Wait...seriously?"
"I have never been more serious in my life," she confirmed quietly.
Damnit...there went his eyes, blurring with tears when he didn't want them to. Again. Why had he never been very good at controlling that?
Then Sam was kissing her, and Jessica was kissing him, and the all but empty waiting room was gone, and there was nothing but the two of them.
Or...the three of them.
Sam looked a little distracted when Dean went out to the waiting room again, but he was too distracted himself to worry asking about it now. It seemed like the good kind of distraction anyway—something he was all too familiar with at the moment.
Bobby jarred Ben awake, and once everyone was looking at him Dean grinned.
"Well?" Sam prompted.
"It's a girl. Her name's Mary Grace."