9 Can't Go Back, Forward Ain't Bad
Lisa handed Dean the satellite phone. "You call every night."
"Better make that morning. We'll tend to be occupied at night." Leaning on the front porch banister, Dean pulled Lisa in for a kiss. Damn, he loved her lips.
"Fine, but every morning." She wrapped her arms around his waist, placed her dark head over his heart. "I'm so glad you're back." She pulled away to look up into his face. "Really back. To the guy I first went crazy over. I missed him."
"Yeah. I did too." He looked up as Sam rounded the corner of the house, carrying Ben on his shoulders and didn't the sight just make strange little tingles kick around in his belly. He was turning into such a girl.
Sam swung Benjamin down and the boy ran up the steps to Dean. "I don't see why I can't go."
"Well, for one, there's school. We're going to be gone at least a month."
Ben rolled his eyes.
"And . . ." Dean leaned down to get face to face with the kid. "I'm counting on you to take care of your mom. I know you've been doing it for a long time before I came along and I'm trusting you to keep doing that."
"Of course I will, but Dean, I want to learn everything you guys know. I want to be a hunter." Dean's throat tightened, but he wasn't sure whether from pride or fear for the kid. He glanced briefly over at Sam.
"Don't worry about that." Dean placed his palms over the boy's shoulders. "No matter what you decide to be, a hunter, an engineer . . . " He felt Sam shift at his side. "Or even a big shot lawyer. You're going to know how to take care of anything that comes at you. Everything I know, Ben. I'll teach you everything I know."
The child's eyes lit up, looking at him just like Sammy used to. He met Lisa's gaze, knowing she hated that her son had to know these things. Hell, he hated it too, but after the changeling, she understood the importance. Her lips curved downward, but she didn't stop him.
"So." Dean straightened. "How do you take care of a werewolf?"
"Silver," Ben answered.
"Head shot while it feeds and you cut the heads off vampires."
Dean smiled. "Good. And what do you do every night?"
"Make sure none of the salt lines are disturbed. Check the placement of the hex bags and brush my teeth."
Dean patted his shoulder, but then pulled the boy in for a hug. "Good, Ben. That's real good." The child lifted his face, beaming up at him before sidling away, suddenly embarrassed.
"Hey, Ben," Sam took a knee beside the kid. "I'll teach you something right now. Say this word out loud." And Sam leaned in to whisper something in Ben's ear. Dean's brows rose, wondering what Sam was about.
Ben smiled so wide his dimples popped out. "Awesome!" He looked at Sam expectantly.
Sam nodded his encouragement.
" Shoma!" Ben called, and the hellhound materialized out of the air.
"Impala!" Ben threw his arms against the hound, barely reaching the dog's shoulders and Imp turned, large tongue rasping across the kid's face.
Lisa had stepped back. "I hate it when he does that."
Sam pushed the canine's head toward him, leaning in for some attention of his own.
"Are you taking him with you?" Ben stroked the dark fur.
"No," Sam said. "He's staying here with you and your mom. Nothing will get past him. Nothing. But, um, maybe not always have him visible. You'll take care of him for me, won't you, Ben?"
The kid eagerly nodded and Sam drew him away to give him some more instructions regarding Imp.
Dean looked down, shuffling his feet. "You sure you're good with this?"
Lisa slid against him again. "What you do is important. Besides I'd rather have you this way, a few weeks, days, at a time . . . like you, the real you, happy . . . than here all the time miserable."
He kissed the top of her head, inhaled the strawberry scent of her shampoo. "You're one cool chick, you know that?"
"Uh-huh." Her mouth took his and he felt himself fall into her, tumbling down, down, down into a contentment he never thought he deserved before.
Sam cleared his throat. "Get a room you two."
Dean lifted his head from Lisa's, noting the goofy smile on his brother's face. Man, his Sammy, what a trip. The kid was freaky with happiness that Dean had a slice of the apple pie life.
Dean squeezed Lisa's arm and gave her a quick peck before walking down the steps. "Oh, I don't know, Sammy. You ought to try having a relationship, get you back out in the swing of things. Lisa has some friends . . . and with that new . . ."
Sam put a hand up. "I'm warning you. Not one more re-hymenated quip."
Catching up to him, Dean clapped one hand on Sam's shoulder. "I'm just saying . . ."
"Well, don't. Jerk." Sam went around to the other side of the Impala and climbed inside.
Dean stood there, hand on the shiny door handle, holding a smile he felt all the way to his bones. "Bitch," he whispered, pulling the door open and sliding into the driver's seat. "So, Sammy. When you were in the pit, learn any new ways to take out a ghoul?"
A slow grin crawled across Sam's features, taking forever to spark in the hazel eyes. "Ohhh, yeah."
"Well, lay it on me, brother."
Turning the key, the Impala rumbled to life, and Dean pulled her out into the street, the cassette left in the tape deck, blasting through the speakers. " . . . All right now, baby it's a-all righ . . .ight now . . ."