AN: Ok I now it's been forever and I know my last update sucked. I hope you enjoy this one better and I promise the next chapter will be the last! Thanks for reading!
"Dad!" Chris exclaimed as he vaulted himself over the back of the couch landing unceremoniously on top of Dean's legs. "You're up!"
Dean's heart swelled as he let out a perfunctory "Umpf" and a warm smile spread across his tired face as he maneuver his legs out from under his son's butt. God he loved that kid; so much it scared the hell out of him. "Hey mini-me" he replied groggily. "Miss me?"
The boy's knee was bouncing up and down a mile a minute a telltale sign that he was upset or nervous about something. Dean couldn't blame the kid. The past seventy-two hours must have been hell on him.
"Dude; bout time you woke up. What the hell dad? You scared the shit out of me!" Chris had unconsciously grabbed a handful of his father's pant leg and was clutching on to it for dear life.
"Some things will never change." Dean cleared his throat and ticked his head slightly towards John; non-verbally trying to remind the kid to remember who was in the room and to watch his mouth.
His brother, however, took a more direct approach and lightly smacked the back of his nephew's head as he placed the bag of dinner on the coffee table next to John. "Dude." He scolded pausing a moment letting the reprimand sink in before giving him a slight smile. "Didn't we talk about this? Chris gave a little scowl as he rubbed the back of his head not sure where his uncle was going with this. He never minded him cursing before.
Sam continued. "Give your dad a break; he's old; these things take time. After all, he's almost thirty; and we all know it's downhill from there."
A smile spread across the youngest Winchester's face. Relieved that he wasn't in real trouble; at least for the moment, Chris relaxed a bit and leaned back into the couch.
John scoffed. "On that note." He said rising off the coffee table. "I'm gonna warm up dinner." "Old? Christ if they think thirty is old they must think I'm a Goddamn fossil." He leveled a stern look and pointed a warning finger at his foul-mouthed grandson. "You. Watch your mouth."
Chris's smile faded as he cast a guilty look at his grandfather; so much for not being in trouble. He shifted again this time straightening his posture. "Sorry." He muttered.
John held his stance for a few more seconds disappointed in his grandson's weak response but decided to let it go. These three were going to be the death of him; he was sure of it. He placed a firm hand on Dean's shoulder and gave it a squeeze as he grabbed dinner and headed towards the kitchen. "We'll talk later."
"Awesome." Dean replied with a fake smile. "Can't wait." He promised himself right then and there that he would do everything in his power to avoid being caught alone with his Dad; at least for the next several days. He turned his attention back towards Chris and Sam who was grinning like an idiot. Even in his groggy state Dean couldn't let Sammy get one up on him.
"Old? Who you callin old? I can still take you; even in my weakened state; Bitch."
"Yeah; in your dreams; Jerk." Sam countered taking John's place on the coffee table. He leaned in towards Dean in the same fashion his father had just moments before. Dean smirked to himself. The two of them were totally cut from the same fabric and the sooner they realized that the better off everyone would be.
Sam soaked in the sight of his brother. While he still held John responsible he couldn't overlook the fact that Dean had disobeyed their father's orders and brought this last set of injuries upon himself. Dean still looked like crap but at least he was awake. The real concern he was feeling for his brother had him pulling his brows together. "So Sleeping Beauty, how you feelin – really?"
"Yeah, you were out for like ever!" Chris added blowing his bangs from his eyes. The kid needed a hair-cut; he was beginning to look like a mini Sammy.
Dean rubbed a tired hand over days' worth of stubble; trying to fight off the effects of the meds for just a little while longer. He desperately wanted to spend some more time with Sammy and his son. He sighed, closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the arm of the couch. "After goin that last round with Dad; I feel bout as good as I look."
"That bad; huh?" Sammy said somewhat sympathetically but Dean didn't miss the twinkle in his eye.
"Well I hope you feel better than you smell." His son pitched in earning a look of surprise from his uncle and nudge from his father.
"What, I'm just sayin. It's been like days since you've showered. No offense Dad but; you reek!"
Not being one to be able to pass up an opportunity practically handed to him on a silver platter Sam seized the moment. "That's not true." He interrupted smiling again at his nephew. It wasn't often they had downtime like this to relax and tease one another like real families did and he was absolutely going to take full advantage of the situation. "Did you forget about the sponge bath Bobby gave him?" He could hardly suppress laughing out loud as Dean's eyes flew open wide in horror at the thought of being bathed by anyone who wasn't a chick; let alone Bobby.
"Oh yeah…." Chris said not missing a beat. "That's right! Dad; dude; thank God you were so out of it cause….."
"Alright, alright!" Dean said cutting them off. He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples desperately trying to erase the image of Bobby sponging him down out of his head.
"Terrific; now I'm going to be seeing Nurse Bobby in my dreams, thanks a lot!" He huffed.
Sammy chuckled at the lighthearted banter. He had really missed his big brother and was happy for everyone's sake, especially Chris's, that he finally appeared to be acting like the old Dean they all knew and loved.
The older hunter shook his head in one last attempt to clear the vision from his mind and even though he was pretty sure his pain in the ass little brother was pulling his leg he needed to hear verbal confirmation. "You were joking; right? He asked, his glassy eyes flying back and forth between Chris's and Sam's.
Enjoying himself immensely, Sam was willing to continue messing with Dean's head for a little while longer but alas his son came to his rescue.
"About the sponge bath; yes." Chris answered finally releasing his grip on his father's pants. "About you reeking; sorry dude -no."
Sam burst out laughing and Dean himself couldn't help chuckling a bit at the kid's brutal honesty. "Jee; thanks; brat."
"Don't mention it." The boy shrugged.
An easy silence fell between the three young Winchesters. Dean felt his body relaxing as it quickly succumbed to the meds but he wanted just a few minutes alone with Chris. He cast a quick glance at Sammy who immediately took the hint. Clearing his throat his brother rose none too inconspicuously from his perch.
"Ok." He said clapping his hands together. "I'm uh, gonna go help dad in the kitchen. Good to see you up bro." he said slapping Dean on the shoulder as he made his escape.
They may have thought they were being discrete but Chris had been around the two of them long enough to recognize the "I want to talk to the kid alone" look.
"Gosh Dad; that was subtle." Chris said dripping in sarcasm.
Dean smirked. Kid was getting good. The two studied each other for a brief moment before Chris broke eye contact. He was still feeling guilty about running away and really didn't want to get into it with his father. He made a move to stand but Dean put a restraining leg on top of his lap.
"Whoa; where's the fire? Hold up a sec."
Chris sighed heavily as he slumped back into the couch. "Do we have to do this now? I mean you just woke up and you're tired and…"
"Hey; take it easy. I've been out for two days; I just want to see how my kids doin; that's all."
Chris shifted uncomfortably on the couch. "I'm good."
Lying was most definitely not the kid's strong suit and his father knew it all too well.
Dean leaned back again against the arm of the couch, crossing his arms across his chest in the process. "Mm hmm."
"No really; it's cool Dad. I'm good." Dean wasn't sure who Chris was trying to convince; his old man or himself.
"So the whole "shooting your father; getting your ass beat; almost getting killed by an ancient witch thing;" you tellin me you're cool with all that?"
"Just….I'm ok; ok? I mean, I feel bad for shootin you and all but you said it yourself; it was an accident. And the Shtriga; yeah that thing was beyond creepy but we ganked it and G… well… I already said I was sorry so….." Chris took a breath and paused before he continued. I'm…. I'm sorry for all of it but I'm ready to get back in the game again; ok?"
Dean's eyes narrowed in disbelief and his head started swimming. "Back in the ga…?" He couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Kid, if you think for one second I'm gonna…"
"I knew it!" Chris exploded shoving his father's leg aside as he jumped from the couch. "I knew you were gonna freakin do this."
What the hell…"Do what?"
"Sit down Chris."
"I said sit down."
"Yeah, and I said no! You can't do this dad. You can't keep me from hunting. I'm gonna be fifteen in a week; you can't keep treating me like a little kid; I can do this; I'm gonna keep doing this."
Dean swung his legs off the couch and attempted to stand in an attempt to help try and calm the kid down. But before he could put any weight on his feet he started to see stars. "Son-of-a-bitch!" he said grabbing his head and dropping back onto the couch.
"Dad!" Chris shouted as he went to grab his father but the boy was no match against the pull of his father's weight and the two of them went crashing back onto the couch. "G!"
John and Sam came bolting into the living room. "What the hell happened?" John demanded as he dropped to Dean's side.
"It's nothin; m'ok. Just tried to get up too fast; that's all."
"Jesus Christ Dean; I can't leave you alone for two Goddamn seconds." John said as he took his son's pulse. "Now what the hell is going on in here?"