Hello! This would be my second supernatural fanfic.
This, my dears, is a little Wee!chester fic, hopefully complete with fluffiness and awwness and also a bit of angsty wittle Dean.
Oh, I also own nothing but my imagination (I'm pretty sure I own that anyways) :P
Here you go!
AGAIN! Caleb thinks. This is the sixth... no... The seventh... time he had been woken up tonight because of some stupid baby's cries.
John Winchester had announced himself just a few hours ago by banging a large fist against the door. Caleb, on his own for a couple days while his father went on a solo hunt, had answered the door and without a single word John had pushed his way inside.
He had been carrying a baby, whose tiny hands were fisted in an old picnic blanket, and who was screaming and whining nonstop. Caleb's ears hurt the second he heard the screeching child.
"John" He had said in greeting. The man only grunted as he slung a couple heavy duffel bags off his shoulder and onto the floor of the hallway. Was he drunk?
Caleb had been about to slam the door when he caught sight of something. Looking down, he realized John's other son was standing on the threshold. His big green eyes showed uncertainty, as if he was unsure whether or not he could come in. They filled with tears as Caleb had almost shut him out, thinking he was being left outside or abandoned, but he returned to his original stare when the door did thankfully not bash him on the nose.
Caleb stared at him, stunned for a moment, before opening the door wider and beckoning the kid to come inside.
Dean took faltering, wobbly steps to cross through the salt lined doorway and then stood in the hallway watching his father. His eyes seemed to be glued onto the baby he was holding.
"Where's Mac?" John demanded, shifting the baby from one arm to another.
"Gone hunting. He won't be back for a while. Why?"
Sam squirmed some more, Caleb thinking it was probably the itchy blanket making the kid miserable, and John huffed in annoyance, looking like he was restraining himself from swearing.
"Dean, take your brother." Dean's eyes lit up at the command and he reached up to eagerly take baby Sammy. Carefully, like the baby was made of glass, Dean took his in his arms and rocked him gently back and forth which calmed little Sammy somewhat. John turned to answer Caleb's question. "I have a hunt. Needed two people but I guess I'm going alone." John again huffed in annoyance. He seemed to be in an especially bad mood tonight, probably for no reason. It had been almost 4 months since his wife died now and Caleb could have sworn that John was angrier and angrier every time he visited. Time usually healed wounds. It seemed John's were just festering, refusing to heal.
Something suddenly occurred to Caleb.
"Hello? I'm a hunter! I can come." Caleb said, affronted. Why didn't John think of him? He was worth his salt. He may be a teenager, but he had been hunting for a while now. The only reason Mac had refused to take him with him on the hunt was because he had school work to catch up on.... because he skipped school for a couple days. So? He didn't see the problem. He was gonna be a hunter anyways.
"Yeah, I could take you... but you're gonna be taking care of Dean and Sammy."
"What!" Caleb said disbelievingly. The damn Winchester wasn't even asking!
"You heard me." John ordered.
"But, but... I don't know the first thing about kids!" Caleb spluttered. Him, one toddler and one baby? Not a good combination.
"You'll be fine. Dean knows what to do anyway."
"So why can't you leave them in a motel if he knows what he's doing?"
John looked up at him and shook his head in exasperation.
"He's four goddamn it! I can't leave him on his own!"
"No more, Caleb!" John ordered, making his way over to the door.
Dean stuttered out his father's way, landing hard on his bottom, Sammy still clutched in his arms, as he stood on an undone shoelace. Caleb waited for the wailing, meaning the kid wanted attention for something that had probably stopped hurting already, but none came. He looked, astonished, at the silent, tiny four year old, who only had eyes for his little brother. He looked worried as he had thought he might have woken his now sleeping brother up but he sighed in relief when Sam stayed asleep. Caleb noticed he was now swathed in Dean's dark blue coat, not the scratchy blanket which was now left on the floor.
The door slammed.
"Woah! HEY!" Caleb yelled, opening the door again and running out into the yard after John. The darkness was settling into the day but Caleb could still see John getting into his pitch black Impala. "You can't just leave me with them!"
"I can and I will. Just put Sam to bed and let Dean do what he wants 'til he drops. Any problems don't call me cell, I can't get distracted." And with that John left.
Caleb cursed loudly and stomped back into the house. He slammed the front door, which jostled the adjacent window in its frame.
He turned round to be met with two, large, innocent green eyes staring up at him. Dean was on his bottom in the hallway, still holding his sleeping brother.
"Urm..." Caleb said. Hell! He could face a poltergeist with a smirk on his face and not a single quake in his boots... yet this little kid and his even littler kid brother scared him more than any supernatural fugly anyday.
Caleb crouched next to Dean and motioned for him to take Sam. Dean, with a small ounce of regret on his features, passed his brother to Caleb and looked down at his little blue and red shoes. With a small frown of concentration on his face, he clumsily managed to tie his shoelace into a messy bow, being sure to tuck the too long edges of the laces into the top of his shoes.
Caleb stared, dumbfounded. How the hell did a kid, aged four, know how to tie his own shoelaces?
Caleb swallowed and stood up slowly. He crossed the hallway and into the kitchen with Dean closely following behind.
"Urm..." The hunter said for the second time. With awkward movements, he placed the sleeping baby on the hard, cold metal kitchen table and turned to watch Dean's progress.
No sooner had he turned, seeing Dean's outraged expression, before a very uncomfortable and cold Sammy started screaming for attention.
Damn. He really hated John Winchester.
Caleb, stretching his aching shoulders before getting up off the couch, wanted nothing more than to go up to his room and sleep properly. But no. The source of the screaming was currently lying on it, no doubt impatient for more attention. Again.
The kid would not stop. He was relentless. From the minute Caleb had put him down on the table – ok, he now admitted that had probably been an unwise thing to do – the baby hadn't shut up for more than an half an hour. He pooped almost constantly, threw up after every feed and wanted attention it seemed every bloody minute of the day! Caleb could swear he was going mad.
He probably would have if not for his little saviour named Dean Winchester.
When Sam had first started crying, Dean had pulled up a kitchen chair and stood on it so as to reach the kitchen table. He grabbed his wailing baby brother very gently and jumped off the chair again, making sure to bend his knees so as not to jostle his brother too much. Dean had continued to wobble down the hall and up the stairs and into Caleb's room, with said man walking mortified and sheepishly behind.
Dean had made a little cot out of Caleb's blankets in the middle of his bed and placed the indignant Sam on them. After a few more seconds of squirming, the baby had found the makeshift bed quite pleasing – better than the table anyway – and eventually turned his cries into sniffles. Dean clambered up onto the bed, his little legs hanging off the edge as he lay down beside his brother, and stuck his thumb in his kid brother's mouth. Sam happily sucked on it, using it as a makeshift pacifier, before he dozed off peacefully.
Dean smiled and extracted his thumb and wiped the drool on his shirt. He turned to Caleb, all shy again. It was like he could only be bossy and commanding when Sammy was involved. The rest of the time he was all shy, apologetic and generally inactive. It was like he revolved around his brother, as if that tiny, insignificant being was the centre of his universe. If Sammy needed something, Dean would get it. If he didn't, Dean would wait quietly until he did.
Caleb couldn't help but feel respect and also sadness for the kid in front of him.
When Caleb said nothing to Dean's questioning glance, he just walked past him and went downstairs. Dean was back seconds later, dragging the heavy duffels with difficulty to the bed.
Astounded at the selflessness and determination of the mute kid in front of him, Caleb had hastened to help him.
From then on Dean had proved himself to be the most capable four year old and the best big brother in the world.
Every time Sam started wailing (which was a lot) Dean would change him, feed him or just plain old give him some attention. He knew exactly where everything was. He knew exactly how to fit Sam into his little footsie pyjamas and knew exactly how much formula to put into how much milk and at what time. When Sam was awake he was never left alone. He would tickle him or let Sam suck his thumb. Sometimes he simply hugged his brother tightly and cooed at him, making the baby chuckle.
All Caleb did was get up to help Dean make the milk, do the heavy lifting or reach anything Dean's tiny form couldn't. He really was only there to supervise.
There was one question that kept popping up into his mind though: why the hell did Dean know how to do this?
This was John's job. A grown, responsible, strong man who was capable of picking up a baby without swaying from the weight and who could reach the cabinets. This was no responsibility for a four year old.
Caleb sighed loudly as the wailing picked up on intensity. The hunter wondered why Dean hadn't got him to shut up by now. But he supposed he did depend on the kid a little too much. Reluctantly, Caleb picked himself up from the couch and dragged himself upstairs.
He searched for Dean but on quick inspection saw him nowhere in sight. Caleb took over the kid's duties and picked up the wailing, squirming and generally annoying baby and bounced him up and down in an attempt to soothe him.
He didn't smell. No changing (thank goodness for that). He had been fed about 45 minutes ago so no need for a bottle. Attention it was then.
Damn. This kid needed a lot of attention. He may not have met many – ok no – other babies but he could swear it that this kid was the neediest kid on the planet. He was certain of it.
He guessed this was normal though. Little Sam had just lost his mother in a horrific fire. He probably didn't understand what the hell was happening and was wondering where his mommy was and why someone who was clearly not his mother was feeding and changing him. Caleb felt a little bit more sympathetic for the baby who he could swear was giving him insomnia after he realized that.
As the baby quietened down, Caleb realized Sam hadn't woken for attention after all. He had woken because of the moaning and crying.
Dean's small form, gone unnoticed until now and huddled in the scratchy picnic blanket, suddenly twitched. Dean breathed quickly and he moaned. As the seconds went by, he started to thrash around and his cries got louder.
He was having a nightmare.
Caleb quickly but gently deposited the half asleep baby back in his nest of blankets and went over to Dean. He was huddled up against the headboard of the bed and hidden in the blanket. How had Caleb not seen him there?
The hunter hesitantly placed a hand on Dean's bony shoulder and shook him gently. The kid did not respond for a while, too caught up in the nightmare. He started crying in earnest, choked, desperate sobs, completely immune to Caleb's reassuring arm and his shooshing. Suddenly Dean's breathing quickened and his eyelids rippled as his eyes moved crazily around in their sockets. With a small, pitiful cry his eyes flew open.
The sandy haired boy shot up and, if not for Caleb grabbing his hand, would have fallen off the side of the bed. He immediately looked to his brother, who was awake but content, and then looked up at Caleb.
"You alright, kid?"
Dean cocked his head slightly as if in contemplation. He frowned as his lip quivered and his eyes filled with tears. He shook his head once and the tears spilled over.
Caleb winced in anticipation for the screams that were about to rent the night once more. But none came.
Sure, Dean was crying. Tiny, crystal droplets fell from his big green eyes as he sniffled into his hand, which was fisted into his mouth. He looked distraught. But he was barely making a sound.
"Um... It's okay, Dean. It was just a dream. You're fine." Caleb said, rubbing Dean's arm awkwardly in what he hoped was a reassuring manner. "There are no monsters in the cupboards or under the beds. Don't worry, I checked." Caleb smiled at his ironic joke. Checking under beds and in cupboards was part of his mandatory routine.
But Dean just kept on crying.
"Warm milk!" Caleb exclaimed. "You want some nice, warm milk, Dean?" For a second the kid thought about it before nodding slightly. Caleb smiled kindly, pleased to get a reaction from the kid, and gently extracted his arm from round Dean.
He bounded down the stairs, perhaps a bit loudly but luckily Sam didn't object this time, and warmed some milk from the fridge.
He contemplated the strange boy currently distraught upstairs. He was crying. Yes, normal for a four year old but... he was not a kid. Kids cried loudly. Anything set them off. They could trip up, land on their backsides, look up to make sure someone was there and then scream their lungs out for attention.
But not Dean. He cried silently. A kid who did that... wasn't a kid. Not really. Kids cry for attention. Dean cried just because... he had to.
He rummaged around in the cupboard where he had put Dean's sippy cup earlier and eventually extracted the object he needed.
Quickly, taking two steps at a time, he leapt up the stairs, conscious of the milk he was carrying, and back into his room.
His calm demeanour took on panic at the sight before him.
Sam, for once, was sleeping peacefully. However, Dean was clearly distressed. His face was screwed up in pain and tears still leaked out of his eyes. His little fists were beating his chest and he was desperately trying not to wail. No matter how much pain he was in, he couldn't wake his baby brother.
Caleb quickly ran the few steps needed to the bed and half placed half threw the milk down on the bedside cabinet in his rush to help the panicked kid in front of him.
"Dean! What's up, buddy? Where does it hurt?" Caleb's hand fluttered uselessly round Dean. The kid didn't answer. Damn the muteness!
"Dean is it your chest?" Caleb noticed he was still hitting himself there. The boy nodded and let out a whimper. Small tears leaked out his eyes, one hand grabbing his chest and the other wrapped around the itching blanket, as if it was his protection. He was getting more and more distressed.
"Hey, it's okay buddy. We'll make it all better." Caleb helped Dean off with his shirt, the buttons besting the trembling four year old and gently started to examine him for any swelling or injury.
He made Dean lie down as he gently prodded his chest. He checked for bruises, swellings or any redness. He asked Dean where it hurt and Dean sniffled and gestured to his whole chest. But when he prodded him he never winced. But his face still held pain.
Caleb frowned. There was nothing wrong with Dean. That was clear. There were no cuts, bruises, swelling, broken bones, internal injury, or difficulty in breathing. The kid was fit as a fiddle.
After buttoning Dean's shirt back on him, Caleb frowned at him, unsure of what to make of the situation.
"Kid, I can't find anything wrong with you!" Dean's eyes widened, now in confusion, before whimpering again. He gestured desperately to his chest again and looked back up at Caleb expectantly, as if he had explained everything. The kid wanted him to fix everything for him. After all, he was the grown up. They could fix anything. But Caleb only sighed in confusion.
Dean's lip trembled.
And Caleb got it. Dean just wanted attention. Like when Sam was screaming, this was Dean's plea. So what did the kid want? Food? Drink? The toilet?
Caleb cringed at that one. He so was not helping the kid do that. A baby maybe, but not a toddler. He dismissed the thought when he realized Dean had already been tonight without anyone's help. Good.
"What is it you want, Dean?" Caleb asked, his voice a little exasperated. The kid could just ask!
But Dean only whimpered again and looked at Caleb confusedly.
Caleb asked again and grew impatient at Dean's refusal to give away his secret.
Caleb wanted to give up but knew his conscience would never forgive him if he left a crying child up here with only his sleeping brother for company.
Dean sniffed again and whimpered louder than before. He grabbed both of his feet in his little hands and drew them up to his chest, like he was protecting himself. He looked straight at Caleb, his eyes overflowing with tears that he could no longer keep in and his body rocking backwards and forwards slightly. It was a pitiful sight.
"What is it you want, kid?" Caleb whispered again, much more gently this time as he realised how fragile the boy in front of him was.
Dean hesitated and hiccoughed through his tears. He wiped his eyes clumsily on his knees and looked up at Caleb again with such a devastated look it almost made Caleb's hard heart break.
"Where's mommy?" Dean whispered pleadingly.
And suddenly everything made sense. The muteness. The nightmare. The beating of his chest. There was no physical pain. But he wasn't lying either.
To put it simply, Dean missed his mom.
In one instinctual movement Caleb plonked himself down on the bed and swept Dean up into his arms. He shushed the again crying child and rubbed his hand on Dean's back, trying to soothe him.
Caleb felt desperately sorry for this little boy in front of him. He had been through so much hardship and trauma and had so much weight on his shoulders. But he was so young that he could not even understand the pain he felt.
It was not right for a child to feel this way.
Caleb did not know what to do. He just held Dean as he cried quietly; not caring that his shirt was becoming wet with tears and that this would be incredibly uncool if anyone saw him. All that mattered was showing this little boy some kindness in this harsh, cold world.
Eventually, after much reassurance, shooshing and patting on the back, Dean seemed to calm. Caleb used his already wet shirt to gently wipe Dean's face clean of tears. He grabbed the milk, a little cold now, from the bedside table and offered it to Dean.
Dean shakily but eagerly grabbed the sippy cup and Caleb helped him to drink from it. Dean nor Caleb seemed to care at the point that Caleb was basically feeding Dean like a baby, his little hands encasing Caleb's one as he sucked eagerly from his cup. Caleb concluded that Dean needed to be babied for a little while.
Caleb's attentions did the trick as Dean settled down and became more or less calm. Caleb gently pulled his hand from Dean's grasp to put the cup down and settled more comfortably against the headboard, pulling his legs up onto it so that they rested next to the little baby who was further down the bed.
Dean shifted in Caleb's grip, surprising him by trying to get more comfortable there instead of clambering off him. He looked over at his brother and was happy to see Caleb's long legs rested against the nest of blankets, as if they were protecting Sammy. It made Dean feel safer.
"How are you feeling kid?" Caleb whispered.
In response, Dean smiled slightly and snuggled further into Caleb's comforting arms. Dean was too much of an adult already to realise that a few comforting words and a pat on the back would not make everything better.
But right now it was pretty good to believe in just that.
Dean's smile widened as his eyes drifted closed. Caleb followed suit moments later.
OY! YOU! Yeah you! Thanks for reading to the end you bloody wonderful person... now do me the honour of a review? *writer's lip trembles, makes puppy dog eyes, whimpers pathetically*