Twenty Years Later:-
The incessant ringing of the phone dragged Sam from the doze the painkillers had put him in, and he glanced around blearily, trying to get his bearings together. He eventually found the phone, flipped it on. "Sam Singer, Singer Salvage."
"I'm lookin for a few parts for an older Ford truck, you got any on the lot?" The voice was young and female, hesitant, and he rubbed his eyes, wanting to groan. The young females were the worst; they usually didn't know what exactly they wanted, and the computer inventory program didn't show parts. And Dean was out on a hunt, so he couldn't hand it over. Fuck.
"Yeah, what kind of parts, and what year?"
"They're obscure, but if you've got the trucks, then you've got the parts, I'm sure. Year doesn't really matter, the parts the same on the late 70's up through the early 90's, so I don't doubt you have it. Any way to ship parts?" He blinked, startled by how the hesitance had turned into confidence, and he reached, pulling the laptop closer to open the inventory program.
"I've got a several Fords that fit that time frame. We don't ship; you want the part, you gotta come get it." He rattled off the address, and she confirmed it, saying she'd be there in about two days to get it. He hung up, shoved the computer away, and massaged his knee.
Damned useless thing.
Two days later:
Dean pulled the Impala into her garage, killing the engine and leaning back, sighing. He was home. The Hunt had been simple, a chupacabra, but everyone he'd talked with had been too busy to take it. Bonus was that it was down in Texas, so he could slip across the border, get some of the heavy, highly-illegal-without-a-medical-license type drugs that Sam needed, and buzz through Autumn's place on the way back.
Someone had bought the property. The old stone lions had been rebuilt, their eyes glittering queerly as they watched him, and he couldn't go any further. There was a metal dumpster though, that he could see from the stopping point, and a mountain of lumber. Someone was rebuilding the witch's home.
He sighed, reminded himself that it had been twenty years, and people were allowed to rebuild it. But damnit. He climbed out, and made his way inside, concerned when he didn't see Sam. The scent of roast filled the air, so the younger man had gotten up at some point, but he still hadn't made an appearance, or any noise.
Once he hit the den though, he realized why. There was roll of compression tape on the coffee table (purple this time), and through Sam's baggy sweats, he could see the lines of the bulky brace that stabilized his ruined knee. A bottle of the illicit painkillers sat by Sam's foot, and the younger Hunter was slumped over, snoring lightly.
Dean still felt a hit of guilt when he looked at Sam. It was his fault, he'd gotten cocky over the years. It had been months since they'd been hurt on a hunt, even longer since they'd been seriously hurt, and the case seemed like a simple open-shut werewolf hunt. He didn't research further, went in assuming and arrogant.
They didn't realize the bastard had made a mate a few days prior, and when that one got Sam, he could only watch helplessly as the thing threw his baby brother, a steel girder stopping his flight with a stomach twisting crunch. Sammy had screamed, a sound that still woke Dean up some nights, and it was a hard thing to kill the bitch before running to Sam, stomach lurching as he saw the mangled mess that used to be a fully-functioning knee. Hadn't hesitated to call 911, pressing firmly on Sam's pressure points to drop him into unconsciousness. 'Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind', John's words to a young Dean, but it still didn't stop the twist of guilt when he saw the bruises later.
The doctors had talked about knee-replacement, were trying to get Sam to sign the consent forms, but he was panicked, fighting and resisting, and had begged and pleaded, tears in his eyes, imploring Dean to not sign them as his power of attorney.
He knew he was wrong, but he'd refused the doctors, and had smuggled Sam out later, taken him back to the Salvage yard they'd inherited from Bobby a few years back. Both Winchesters had been shocked when the older Hunter's attorney had called Dean's cell, explaining that the older man had passed, and his will had transferred everything he owned to the two boys, split 50-50 between Dean and Sam. So the two had settled in, and Sam took over the logistics of running the salvage yard, inventorying what he could on his good days, trying to block the pain on his bad days.
That was three years ago, that the accident had happened, and Dean couldn't help but notice that Sam had more bad days than good now. He was lucky to leave the house, spent most days on the couch or the chair, leg propped up, joint prone to locking or buckling at inopportune times. Dean crouched beside his little brother, shaking him lightly, and Sam startled, grunting in acknowledgement as he saw Dean.
"Hey man, I'm home."
"I see that." He scrubbed at his eyes, blinking hard. "Go okay?"
Dean nodded, voice still pitched low. "Yeah, simple. Got some more of the good stuff too." Sam nodded, eyes already fuzzy, and Dean patted his ankle. "Get some sleep Sammy." He was going to say more, but the crunch of gravel under tires jerked his attention around, and Sam froze. "Stay here. I'll look." He slipped quietly out the front door, thankful he hadn't unarmed yet.
The Jeep Wrangler was battered, mud splashed gruesomely along the dusky blue paint, the top stripped off, revealing the black frame. Dean paused on the porch, eyeing the figure that was standing in the driver's spot, arms braced casually along the top of the windshield, eyes hidden behind highly mirrored sunglasses that were snug on her face, making the features more angular. She had short hair, and it had to be dyed…Dean's seen his share of women, and never seen that color outside of a box. It's too…bright. Noticeable. Her thick denim jacket swung oddly, like it's weighted, and he frowned, stepping down off the porch, but staying between the SUV and the house.
"Who the hell are you?" He tried to keep the challenge out of his tone, but he figured he probably missed the mark there.
She smirked, shrugged casually. "Called a few days ago about parts for an old truck. Lookin for Sam Singer..he around?"
Dean frowned, trying to look apologetic. "Nope, he's gone home for the day. Might wanna try back tomorrow." The wind shifted, blowing at his back, and he shifted with it, widening his stance as the woman's brow suggested she was narrowing her eyes.
He could tell the moment the breeze hit her…not only did that shock of red hair move, but she froze, eyes widening so much that dark eyebrows snuck out from under the glasses. "Dean?"
That wasn't good. He's spent enough of his life hunting things with a good sense of smell, and if it knew his scent, he was screwed. He was sliding a hand around to the holster at his back, same time he registered Sam's steps on the porch behind him, which all coincided with the woman laughing. He couldn't even say the scramble out of the Jeep was graceful, more of a uncontrolled tumble down, and as thick black shitkickers landed in the dust, she was already striding towards them.
"Who the hell are you?" He didn't even bother to hide the challenge, snapped the words like the threat they were.
"Aw, you don't remember me?" The words were actually sincere, he could tell, and he froze as the woman was wrapped in a flash of light, two feet becoming four as the wolf bounded towards them. He had the pistol pulled and trained, even as the features recognized, and she froze, whining softly.
"Kiara?" Sam's voice was quiet, full of shock, and she yipped, ear flickering above the blond swirl, and Dean shook his head, holstering the weapon as the canine bounded up on the porch, blowing past the elder Winchester to lean carefully and fondly against Sam. "Jeez…" He buried his fingers in the thick fur, scratching as he laughed softly. The damned thing was massively huge, shoulders easily reaching Sam's waist, thick muscles roping across the rolling shoulders as she groaned, arching her neck to give Sam better access.
Kiara nuzzled against his hand for a few seconds before tumbling back down the stairs, shifting again somewhere in the mess to become the woman again, striding confidently across the dirt. "Hey Dean."
The words were soft, confident, and a bit warm, and he tilted his head. She slid the glasses up, pinning back the red locks, and the grey stare he remembered bore into him, bringing back fond memories, and he grinned. "Hey pup."
She laughed, stepping close enough to let him pull her into a hug. "You were the only ones to ever call me that." He hugged her hard, tensing at the twin bulges he felt, one against his stomach, the other under the hand at her back, and felt the smirk against his chest as she pulled away. Damn, but she was short, especially considering how big her wolf was. She couldn't be over 5'2". He'd be surprised if she even hit that, considering the thick boots adding a good two inches to her height. "You know how hard you two are to pin down?"
"There's a reason for that. Come on, get inside you two. We're not savages to stand outside, and dinner isn't much longer." Sam admonished, and Kiara ducked her head, grinning widely as she headed for the steps. "Uh-uh, I don't think so." She froze, hurt flashing across her face, and Sam smiled, opening his arms. "You ain't passing me without a hug kiddo." He couldn't help but notice she didn't hesitate, just stepped into the embrace and sighed quietly, murmuring words that were almost too low to catch.
"I missed you guys."
Sam managed to get back in to the couch without too much limping, settling on the worn furniture with a soft grunt as Dean made his way into the kitchen, the scent of coffee wafting out a bit later. He stretched his throbbing knee, easing the right foot under the coffee table, and watched with amusement as Kiara slowly wandered the room, eyes closed, nose in the air as she inhaled slowly and deeply. "Having fun?"
"It smells just like I remember." The words were soft, quiet murmurs, and he shook his head, resting his cheek on his fist as he watched.
"Kid, get over here and sit down." Dean handed him a mug, and Sam settled it on his knee, letting the warmth from the ceramic soak into the joint as Kiara accepted her own, murmuring a soft thanks. She eased onto the couch, perching idly on the edge of the cushions, and Sam could feel the tension running through her frame. "So…not that we mind, but what brought you around?"
Sam cleared his throat. "Oh, Dean? Some woman called, wanted a few parts off some of the older trucks in the lot. She should be here today or tomorrow." Kiara smothered a laugh as Dean narrowed green eyes at his brother, and Sam tossed him a flippant grin.
"Just a few. I can get them before I head in town tonight. Not much until the truck is up and running."
Dean shook his head. "You're staying for dinner."
"If I do that, then I won't get in town before the storm finishes rolling in. And I don't have the top for Madre, so there's no way I'm driving home tonight," Kiara protested.
Dean shrugged casually as he leaned back in his chair, propping his feet on the coffee table. "Then I guess you're staying here tonight, aren't you?" Kiara started to argue, but Dean just gave that look Sam remembered so well from his childhood, the narrowing of green eyes and the set jaw that booked no argument. She slumped, sighing in a gust, and Dean nodded, settling back. "Thought so."
Sam shifted, glancing at Kiara. "So, um. I'm assuming you named your Jeep Madre?" his tone was a blend of curiosity and confusion, and she squirmed, pulling up her feet to sit cross-legged, knees resting on the thick curve of the boot soles.
"Not exactly. It's Madreconcha, but that's a bit of a mouthful, so it's usually just shortened."
Sam chewed his lip, and finally unable to resist the innate urge to correct someone that's wrong, spits out "Concha de tu madre."
"Shoulda been, yeah, but that's a helluva mouthful." A careless toss of her head, and she grinned. "So Madreconcha."
"Concha de tu madre. It's proper grammar."
"Dude, stow it. I know. Eli ranted about it forever and a day. Shush. It's my Jeep, my name. So there." She stuck her tongue out at him, and he returned the favor, suddenly feeling foolish as Dean laughed, shaking his head.
"Children, enough. Damn, and here I thought you had matured when you grew up."
"Oh no. Even worse now, I think." The words were full of pride, and Dean groaned, pushing himself upright as he ducked into the kitchen to check on the rolls he'd thrown in when he got the coffee. Kiara took the moment to subtly rub the swell under her shirt, humming softly, and Sam let his head fall back, resting against the edge of the worn couch as he waited for the painkillers to kick in.
It was a few minutes before Dean came back in, and he froze instantly in the doorway, frowning at Kiara. "Why are you humming that?" Sam jerked awake from the doze he'd apparently settled into, and the girl flinched, offering a hesitant smile.
"Because that's the only lullaby I had?"
Dean frowned, crossing his arms over his chest. "Your mom sing it?" She snorted, raising a brow expectantly at the oldest Winchester, and he shook his head. "You were too young to remember me singing it."
"Not really. Loup Garou have amazing memories. I remember everything, from before I was born."
Sam watched with fascination as a red tint crept up Dean's face, and Kiara cackled wickedly, nodding. "Yup. Eli was always jealous of you, you know. I kept teasing that he couldn't measure up to the great Dean."
'The Great Dean' licked his lip slowly, shook his head, and stomped back into the kitchen. "Supper's ready," he tossed over his shoulder, and his voice sounded oddly strangled.
Kiara only picked at dinner, claiming she'd already eaten, but her stomach rumbling betrayed the lie. Still she was an adult, and Dean could only frown at her. They'd lingered over dinner, discussing little of importance. Kiara had mentioned that she was rebuilding Autumn's place, which explained the construction lately, and Dean had made murmurs about how unsafe it was.
"No more unsafe than when we lived there. Most unsafe thing we did was the pyres." Sam had questioned, and she had revealed that she had salted and burned the old Pack. It was an odd thing to do, even she said they usually 'pelted' the deceased, which was way creepier than burning them, but the salting? That was something only Hunters did. She had dodged the question, murmuring that she had picked up the habit somewhere, and deflected the conversation to the parts she needed.
They had eventually moved back into the den, Dean stoking the wood burner with more wood, the warmth radiating out thick and soothing. At least, it was to him and Sam, who had fished out a laptop and was scrolling through translations the software had done earlier in the day. Kiara, on the other hand, kept fidgeting and shifting, restless-like, and he wasn't surprised when, with the first clap of thunder, she was outside, claiming she needed to cover the Jeep.
Dean gave her five minutes, knowing even that was generous, before trailing out after her, jacket pulled tightly closed against the cold wet rain. The wind was howling, muffling and throwing sounds, but he was willing to bet the kid was somewhere near her Jeep. And seriously, a Jeep? Not nearly as cool as the classic cars. He shook his head, sending water spraying already, and made his way to the uncovered blue monstrosity, frowning unhappily as the rain mixed with the dry dust, creating that awkward mud that clung to the thick treads of his boots. Damnit, Sam was gonna bitch about the mud in the house again, he could just tell.
Sure enough, she was on the far side of the Jeep, one hand braced on the passenger door as she doubled over, retching hard into the dusty mud, the other hand braced on her knee. She startled when he rested his hand on her back, rubbing roughly through the wet denim that outlined the weapon at her back and another on her shoulder. He slid the hand up, cupping the back of her neck as she panted, swallowing hard, and took note of the lack of fever. "Kiddo, if you're sick, you shoulda just said something."
She shook her head, gagging, and panted harder for a moment, shoulders relaxing after a few minutes. "Not sick."
"Mm-hmm. Because, you know, vomiting in the rain is a perfectly healthy, normal thing. Yeah. Give me another line, kay?" He chuckled as she flipped him off casually, watching as she stood carefully, breathing deeply as she swallowed hard. "You look like shit."
"Thanks. Really." She spat over the mess before kicking the congealing mud over it, huffing a breath that, if any louder, would be a groan. "Get inside, I'll be a minute."
"I'll be surprised if Sam doesn't come out. Come on, inside. Now." He used the same tone of voice that usually had Sam doing what he wanted, and damned if the kid didn't laugh at him, voice husky from the puking.
"Gotta cover the Jeep." He rolled his eyes, but helped her, grabbing the backpack from the floorboards and the bundle of tarp from under the passenger seat, unrolling it and helping her secure it with bungee cords to cover the majority of the vehicle. "There." And she didn't waste time trotting back up the porch, shaking the rain from her hair with vigor.
The warm scent of cinnamon had tickled it's way under the bedroom door, and Sam rolled over, burying his face in the pillow as he groaned. His knee was already screaming, and he was hoping if he could dive back into sleep, maybe he could block it a little while longer. He shifted, and the pain drowned out everything else but his heartbeat for several long moments, brought tears of pain welling up in his eyes. "Damnit." He inhaled sharply, sucking back the snot that the pain-tears had created, and braced himself, rolling back over and standing in one quick, fluid movement. Bit back the yelp that rose to his lips as he swallowed back the bile the agony screaming along his nerves prompted. Slid on the brace, dry-swallowed the illegal drugs Dean smuggled in on regular occasion, and prayed that a heating pad and coffee would make it behave today. But given the storms due all weekend, it was unlikely.
He'd forgotten about the cinnamon scent until he opened his bedroom door, and the scent wafted up and wound around him like a lazy housecat, and he tried to ignore his grumbling stomach. Dean's door was still shut, and by the smells and the light, he was assuming Kiara was up.
They'd tried to get her into a guest room, they really had, but she insisted on the couch, and after she'd passed out on it after a quick shower, neither had the heart (or, in Sam's case, the ability) to move her. So they'd made sure the wood stove had enough to last until morning, latched and locked the doors, and covered her with a worn quilt before slipping into bed around midnight. He knew Dean was worried about letting her be the first defense, but Sam had eyed the three boot sheaths, the twin Glocks she'd unloaded, the switchblade from her pocket, and the daggers she had in forearm sheaths. The puppy was packing more heat than they usually took on hunts, and handled each with a calm confidence that implied she had no qualms about using them.
The russet blood that highlighted one handle of the daggers said that much.
He found her in the kitchen, sitting on the counters without a care, a cup of coffee in front of her as she hummed softly, bare feet tapping into the cabinets in time to the song as she flipped through pages, highlighting lines of text as she read the printouts. The old tee-shirt was worn and faded, and draped along the bulge at her waist, the jeans slung low under. He made sure to make enough noise to not startle her, and waved blearily as he headed towards the brewed coffee.
"Morning!" She was chipper…it figured. He mumbled something in response, settling heavily into a chair as his knee protested. She didn't take offense, just went back to her papers, and he realized he could hear the steady ticking of a timer. So the smell of something good wasn't his imagination. She distractedly picked up her mug, sipping slowly as she read something, and he frowned.
"Should you be drinking that?" He was pretty sure he'd read somewhere that pregnant women weren't supposed to have caffeine.
She didn't raise her eyes, just set the mug on the counter, and flipped him off casually. "I'm allowed a cup a day. Let me enjoy it." He shrugged, and snagged the book he'd been reading lately, letting the quiet of the house settle in as the painkillers tried to work.
Kiara had gone through the papers and was on her second time through, this time with another color, when Sam stood to get his second cup. He took a moment to get the joint to lock properly, trying to ignore Kiara's scrutiny, and hobbled over to the counter the same time the timer went off. He heard the last stair creak, telling him Dean was up, and at that moment, realized Kiara was going to hop off the counter.
Seemed like a bad idea to him. He grabbed for her, hand closing on a bare forearm, and both gasped sharply as they stumbled apart, Sam gripping the counter hard as Kiara sat heavily, hand pressed right above her eyes. "You guys okay?" Dean's voice was gruff and a bit concerned as he eyed the two, and Sam nodded quickly, blinking hard to get his mind back online. His hand still tingled, felt like he had stuck it into a lightening path, and he tried to subtly shake it out.
"She uh, shocked me, I think." He shook his head hard, and went to help Kiara up, realizing abruptly that his knee didn't hurt. "Um."
"Sorry," Kiara grunted, shaking her own head just as hard. "You surprised me. Won't happen again." She slumped forward, breathing hard, and Dean stepped to help her up, pausing as she held up a hand. "No."
"Kiara, what happened?"
She pushed herself slowly and awkwardly to her feet, rolling her shoulders before patting her belly absently. "Sorry."
Sam snorted, grabbing pot holders and checking the coffee cake that the timer was still upset about, pulling it out when he realized it was done. "Don't apologize kiddo. Just, kinda curious what happened."
The Loup Garou sighed, gesturing Dean over, and eyeing both Hunters for a moment before locking grey eyes on green. "Do you mind if I show you? It's easier than explaining, at first." Dean nodded. "Hold out your hand."
He had bashed his knuckles open a few days ago, tearing a part off one of the old junkers, and she knew it'd work pretty well for what she wanted. She settled her fingertips lightly on the back of his hand, watching the torn skin knit back together steadily. "What the hell…"
"Yeah, it's something I can do. Remember when Nana said I was special? This is what she meant. One reason I'm not too terribly worried about the pups." Sam realized she had widened her stance, frame tense as she watched them, and he wanted to reassure her, but the implications of what she was saying had his throat tight.
"Does this mean you healed Sam's knee? And when you were a kid, my shoulder…" Dean's voice was gruff still, and Sam shook himself a bit, getting both of them coffee, thrusting the warm ceramic to his brother as Kiara answered.
"No, and yes. Your shoulder…I hadn't learned how to control it yet. So everytime you guys touched me, you got healed. I didn't heal Sam's knee…the contact was too brief. I got the basic info, and killed the pain. That's it. It's still just as damaged."
"Can you heal it?" And there was the protective and pressing voice Sam was waiting for, the one that implied Dean would do anything possible for the answer he wanted to hear.
Kiara pulled out a chair, sitting slowly, and rubbed her eyes. "Possibly. I'd have to look closer, it'd take a lot of time, and even then, I'm not guaranteeing anything."
"Not sure you're strong enough?" Dean's voice was just shy of a challenge as he took a seat, and Sam opted to remain standing, leaning against the counter as he watched them.
Kiara snorted wryly. "I've healed damage that should have left someone dead. We think, given enough time, I might even be able to do just that, reverse Death. Not that I have any interest in trying, but Nana thought so. No, it's the fact that my body won't let me do anything that endangers the pups. So I can't guarantee I'd be able to. Though, that suggests maybe. The other part is, if, while healing, Sam damaged it, then I might not be able to reverse the secondary damage. And third…Sam hasn't agreed to anything. And if I could, and if he said yes, then we're still talking months."
"Why months? Why not just do it now?"
"Because. The damage is severe, Dean. I don't think you realize just how much. I'd be more or less totally rebuilding his entire knee, and every surrounding tissue. I'd have to heal a small section, let that bit strengthen, heal another part, let that bit strengthen. If I did it all at once, his joint would be too weak. As soon as he put weight on it…it'd just shred again."
Sam stared at his coffee; couldn't look at the young woman slowly and absently rubbing the side of her stomach as he asked the question that had his stomach churning. "How long are we talking?"
"Probably, six to seven months. It'd have to be every other week or so, just a little bit. It'd take a lot of time, and you'd have to listen to me, follow everything I say." He caught the shrug out of his peripheral vision. "You screw anything up, the damage would likely be permanent."
The quiet pressed on them for a bit before Sam stood, fishing out three small plates and three forks, slicing the cake into thick chunks and serving them before he sat down, mind whirling. The thought of the surgery the doctors wanted to do scared him badly enough, he'd braced himself for a life of agony, of the pain sticking with him. The idea of an out was so tempting.
Dean's voice startled him away from the contemplation. "I see you're feeling better this morning."
Kiara snorted wryly as she took another healthy bite. "Told you last night I wasn't sick."
"Well, not really. It's a little thing called morning sickness, Dean. Surely you've heard of it." Her tone was wryly sarcastic, and Sam grinned. "Mine just hits at night. One reason I don't really eat after late afternoon. Keeps it from getting worse."
The pain was starting to creep back in, slowly, and Sam raised his eyes to watch the banter, unable to keep the shiver from his spine as Kiara's grey eyes latched onto his hazel, and her entire being softened as she tilted her head. He licked his lip, refusing to look away. "If I say yes?"
Her eyes held no false promises, just honest sincerity. "If everything checks out, and you agree to everything, I can get started today. I'm warning you again though…this isn't a one-time fix. This will take months, okay?"
He offered a smile, trying to beat back the odd panic that was trying to flare. "Then I guess we ought to fix the guest room, huh?"
She had him sit in the living room, foot up on the coffee table as she prodded and felt, thumbs working in what almost felt like a deep massage as she hummed low, eyes focused on something only she could see. After what felt like eons, but the clock said was only minutes, she sat back, chewing on a corner of her lip. "I think I can fix this. What the hell happened though?"
Dean shrugged from his spot in the doorway. "Steel girder. Werewolf. Ended kinda messily." He noticed her eyes went flat and hard in a flash, and he furrowed his brow, but she shook it off just as quickly.
"How long ago?"
"Three and half years." She nodded, setting Sam's brace under the table as she casually rested her hand on the joint, shifting so she could sit easier.
"You're lucky. Much more damage, and I'd be really hesitant to try. Dean, bring me my highlighters, papers and a timer."
Sam couldn't quite contain the thankful sigh of relief as the pain swelled away, leaving a warm tingle in the joint as she accepted the papers with one hand from Dean, eyes already flickering over the text as she punched in digits on the timer, setting it. "What are you doing?"
She didn't look up, just grabbed another color, popping the lid off with one hand. "Seeing how long fixes how much damage. I don't think I want to go over an hour."
"I think he meant with the papers," Dean offered as he sank into his chair, leaning forward to rest elbows on his knees.
She glanced up, shrugged. "Going through offers to join the pack. A new pack always has a lot of offers to join, but not always enough spots, and sometimes, there's people you just don't want, you know?" She looked at Sam, shifting her hand a little. "Still feel okay?" He nodded, and she went back to the papers.
She decided on a half-hour, and made it clear that under no circumstances was he to put any form of weight on the joint for the six hours after, eight if at all possible. She left an entire sheet of paper with him, written in neat, tight writing, detailing what he could and couldn't, should and shouldn't do, and her cell number to reach her. She promised to return in two weeks, and after yanking the appropriate parts, with a quick hug to each, disappeared with a flash of taillights down the highway.
Two weeks later, she returned, a little more worn, a little more tired, but still the pup they liked. She checked Sam's knee carefully before settling in, starting his healing a little after dinner, and helped Dean brace him to get him up to his room later, trying to keep any weight off it for as long as possible.
The next morning, Kiara revealed that she'd been seeking them, wanted permission for something that she felt was silly, but important to her. She wanted to name her cubs after them, figuring that without the brothers, the cubs wouldn't have been around. They'd pressed and questioned, and she finally admitted that she figured they were twins, based on Loup Garou habit to birth twins, and when Dean pressed harder, that she expected to be about three and half months.
She stuck around for the weekend, leaving them with a promise to see them again in two weeks, and reminding Sam to stay off the knee.
Four weeks after they first re-discovered Kiara, which wound up being a week before Christmas, she called from the road, bitching and muttering about her pack tossing her out on a vacation. It seemed odd to both Winchesters, but Dean didn't hesitate to offer her a place to crash for the two weeks before she was allowed to return, and Sam didn't comment when, the next day, Dean lugged in a rather impressive evergreen from the back edge of the lot. And when she showed up, neither commented on her appearance, pale and worn and tired.
And a week later, as Dean dozed in his chair, Kiara snagged Sam's hand, pressing it against her belly, and watched the wonder as his namesake moved under his touch.
After the new year, as Kiara was packing for her return trip after her regular visit, Dean cornered her, pushing and pressing until she caved, spilling the details of the father who was never around, the father that had been killed by a poltergeist in a Hunt. Sam couldn't help but wonder if this is what Dean had watched when he'd gone toe to toe with John in his youth. Dean was raging that it wasn't safe, it was reckless for the wolves to be Hunting, considering the last pack, and Kiara was just adamant that it was only right, that the less supernatural activity in the area, the less likely Hunters were to show up. She'd left in a fit of slamming doors and squealing tires, and Dean had stomped out to the back lot, shots firing later at the targets.
On her fifth visit, Kiara scared everyone when she slipped in the shower, landing hard, and snarling and snapping at both of them for hovering. She threw a royal fit until she tried to heal Sam's knee that night, and nothing happened. She quieted a bit, and all three tried to keep from panicking when later, she started spotting. Sam wasn't surprised the least when Dean wound up hauling her into his lap, rocking her quietly.
That night, they decided she was staying put for several days, and after talking with her beta Jasmine, it was pretty well agreed. Kiara put on a good show, but they saw the relief in her eyes.
Jasmine called a few days prior to her visit in May. Sam was due for another three healings, but Jasmine said Kiara had started contractions, and that's when Sam had argued that she was only probably 30 weeks, the quiet agreement startled both.
It was two months later that the blue Jeep rattled back in the drive, driven by a much more slender Kiara, and two dozing puppies that squeaked and squirmed their way right into the Winchester hearts. And really, neither one was surprised.
And that's it folks! I want to extend a major shout-out to everyone who reviewed, and followed this from start to finish. And major thanks to my girlies that pre-read this ending for me. I was torn between this and another ending, and it was pretty well agreed that this was the better choice.
Want to see the other ending? It'll be posted on my LiveJournal, as well as the other stories that will eventually fit in here. See, this ending opened up a huge possibility, so I'm making it it's own little 'verse over on my LJ. You'll be able to see the pups and Sam and Dean and everyone else, all in good time. ^_^
So again, thank you a million. You all have been wonderful and outstanding, and I hope that you all enjoyed it. *bows and scampers off*