Hi there, I have to apologize for taking so long to update guys, my computer went belly up and is still is busted just so you know and now I am out of desperation typing this story away on my father's laptop which is an ancient relic like I said desperate times, desperate measures. In any case at least the story is moving along again so yay to that, thank you for reading guys and hope you like this part...
"One, two, three, four…eleven….twenty…seven…four." Dean was standing at the Impala, up against the car's front wheel that he was just a little taller than, his hands was up against his face shielding his eyes, which was already squeezed as tight as possible, blacking out the world as he counted, it was the three year old's version of counting in any case.
This amused Sam to no end, all the basic skills that his brother used to possess had gone out of the window along with the curse. And a simple a thing as counting was now beyond Dean's comprehension, amongst a foray of other things.
And the arrival of every new day brought Sam closer to the realization that raising a child was no easy task and he couldn't help but have his thoughts meander over to his own father, who had been a single parent with two young boys to raise. It couldn't have been easy and now Sam thought watching Dean from a distance he knew without any doubt it had been more than just difficult.
"Ready or not here I come!" Dean called pulling his hands away from his eyes, he looked around carefully, he was playing a game of hide n seek with Castiel out in Bobby's junkyard and from the vantage point of Dean's new found stature, Bobby's yard had been transformed into a giant universe. And some where in this universe an angel was hiding from him.
"Sammy." Dean yelled over to Sam who was sitting on the front steps of Bobby's home reading a book, well attempting to read a book, he found his attention more often diverted from the written words in the book to Dean's expeditions around the yard.
"Whatsa matter buddy?" Sam asked closing the book and putting it down beside him, next to Dean's Tigger toy who Sam was supposed to be watching under strict orders from Dean that nothing bad happened to poor Tigger while his owner played.
Dean looked around the scrap yard as if he was being watched and very slowly he made his way over to Sam, eyes still all over the place like he was expecting to see someone.
He struggled up the first few steps up to his brother and Sam held out his hands which Dean took steadying himself to stand in front of Sam with a big frown on his face.
"What's wrong huh?" Sam asked.
"Where's Cas hiding?' Dean wanted to know whispering it softly to Sam like Castiel was in earshot. Sam smiled.
"Dean, that's called cheating."
"Cheating?" Dean scrunched his face in confusion not understanding the definition of the word.
"I can't help you Dean, it's a game remember, you are supposed to look for Cas yourself that's how it works. And when you find him it's going to be your turn to hide." Sam explained carefully, it was kind of funny how he didn't need to explain this before to Dean when it was his turn to do the hiding and Cas doing the seeking, but now that the roles was reversed Dean found absolutely no joy in looking for the angel.
"But I can't find him." Dean complained.
"But you haven't even tried looking yet." Sam pointed out.
"You help me find him?"
"You're playing with Cas not me." Sam said.
"Please Sammy got to find him." Dean lifted Sam's hand in his own and there it was the irresistible puppy dog face the one his big brother was normally the recipient of from Sam and the face that could never be denied, Sam sighed Dean had a point, it was damn overpowering.
"Okay, okay lets go find Castiel." Sam climbed up to his feet and Dean grabbed his Tigger toy from the step.
"Pick me up." Dean shot both of his hands up to Sam who hoisted him up and over his head and put Dean on his shoulders, Dean's small legs fit snugly around Sam's neck and dangled down the front of Sam's chest and Sam held onto Dean's tiny feet fitted in high-tops in his strong hands.
"Cas!" Dean called enjoying the new vantage point that Sam's height gave. "Ready or not here we come!"
They walked around the yard looking for Castiel but the angel was nowhere to be seen and the dissapointment shone in Dean's face.
"Cas where are you?" Dean called out loud looking around the yard's copious amounts of used and old cars.
"His not going to tell us where he is we have to find him kiddo."
"I give up." Dean said with a sigh sounding tired and much older than his three years, Sam smiled and was about to go into a lengthy conversation about playing fair and not giving up when a burst of wind announced the arrival of the angel.
"There you are!" Dean shouted. "Put me down Sammy." he ordered.
"You and Dean don't stop seem to understand the meaning of hide n seek you dissapear completely he asks for my help." Sam put Dean down on the ground and he ran off at Cas, throwing his arms around the angel's legs and he looked up at Cas who towered over him.
"You instructed me to hide myself away and that I did Sam.' Cas said picking Dean up in his arms.
"You dissapeared completely how are we supposed to find you if you are invisible do you know how long we've been looking for you?" Cas cut Sam short.
"No I don't know how long you have been searching for me." Sam sighed shaking his head.
"The point is you were supposed to be hiding in the yard."
"Then you should have been more clearer on your instructions."
"I figured it went without saying and where were you in any case Disney Land?"
"Disney land?" He questioned. "I don't know where that is and why were you looking for me I believe the game was between myself and Dean?'
"He was a bit lazy and asked for my help." They both turned there attention to Dean who had gone awfully quiet. A little too quiet for both their liking. His head was resting on Castiel's shoulder.
"Hey." Sam whispered stepping up to Cas and he laid a hand on Dean's back, leaning his face close up to the child so that their faces nearly touched. "You okay?"
"Fine." Dean replied abruptly.
Sam wondered if this was part of the same tactics the adult Dean used, the infamous I'm fine Sam and everything is freaking hunky dory when in fact everything was but fine or okay for that matter. Could the child use the same ploy, Sam didn't think it was possible, but a minute ago Dean was fine and now he looked a little less so.
"You sure your okay?" Sam had to ask again and Dean lifted himself up from Cas's shoulder.
"Fine." He sounded annoyed and Sam would be damned if that annoyance didn't sound exactly like it belonged to his pre cursed brother.
"Why don't we go inside go see what Uncle Bobby is doing?" Cas suggested
And Dean nodded as Cas put him down Dean handed him Tigger and Dean struck out one hand for Sam to take and the other for Cas to hold. And he walked between the two of them as they held his hands walking up to Bobby's home.
Dean looked down at his feet.
"Sammy, laces." He complained holding out his foot for Sam to see that the laces on his sneaker had come undone and he had no idea how to fix it.
"Want me to teach you how to do it?' Sam asked Dean who nodded.
"Okay lemme show you.' Sam picked Dean up and put him on the hood of the Impala. "How does this go again?" Sam thought about it as he lifted Dean's feet on the car. "Ah I got it."
"What do you have I don't see anything." Cas wanted to know perplexed.
"See your shoe laces Dean?" Sam asked holding up both strings of laces in his hand and Dean nodded. "We need to make them into bunny ears.'
"Bunny ears?" Dean asked amused.
"Yeah first we make a knot for the bunny's head." Cas had undone Dean's other shoe's laces in haste.
"I want to learn how to make bunny ears as well." He said as straight faced as ever and Sam tried not to laugh.
He took the laces in his fingers and crossed them over into an X.
"Now we take one of the ears through the bottom." Sam said putting the lace through the bottom of the X. "And we pull it tight and there you have the bunny's head."
"Sam I don't have a bunny's head." Cas whined and Sam looked at Cas's attempt.
"It looks fine to me Cas your doing great."Sam turned back to Dean.
"Now we need to give bunny some ears." He looped the laces into the "bunny ears".
"And now we need to make bunny's ears tight so they don't fall off."
"Okay." Dean said and Sam made another X using bunny's ears sliding one ear under the X and pulled on it tightly.
"And there you go bunny ears!"
"Sam I don't have bunny ears." Cas complained.
"Okay, okay lets try again, Dean do you want to give it a go with Cas?" Dean nodded and Sam unraveled the laces he took Dean's hands in his own.
"Let's start with bunny's head." Sam lead Dean's fingers through the motions.
They did it a few times and it took while but eventually Dean mastered it.
"I did it!" Dean said when he had successfully done it on his own.
"I'm so proud of you." Sam said tousling Dean's hair. "Good job."
"I am very proud of you too Dean." Cas agreed.
"I can tie it myself." Dean said staring at his tied shoe laces like it was made out of magic.
"Yeah your such a clever boy." Sam said.
"Let's go show uncle Bobby what you can do." Cas said lifting Dean off from the car. They went inside where Bobby was fixing dinner in the kitchen.
"Uncle Bobby, look what Sammy showed me." Bobby swung away from the stove wiping his hands on a cloth stopping everything he was doing naturally to give all his attention to Dean.
"What did he show you?" Bobby asked.
Dean undid his shoe's laces and then slowly and steadily began tying them back all on his own.
And when he was done he stood upright and smiled truimphantly at Bobby.
"Wow!" Bobby said. "Look at you." Dean stared back down at his shoes feeling the heat of pride emanating from the men and angel around him.
"I think that this calls for a celebration." Bobby said.
"What did you have in mind?" Sam asked watching Dean undo the laces again.
"Ice cream what do you say Dean?" Bobby asked Dean who was very occupied with his new skill.
"Okay." he replied distracted.
"Atchoo!" When Dean sneezed Sam stopped breathing literally and his face fell completely flat.
"Sam." Bobby warned like a mind reader. "It was only a sneeze." he said sensing the tension coming from Sam.
"Yeah earlier out in the yard he just went quiet on us and now a sneeze that's how it starts and before you know it he starts sneezing non stop, sore throat, high fever and god knows what else." Sam lifted Dean to his feet and placed the palm of his hand on Dean's forehead.
"Sammy!" Dean cried trying to pry Sam's hand off from his forehead.
"He feels kinda warm do you have a thermometer?" Sam asked.
"Maybe his warm because his been running around the yard all afternoon acting like a monkey." Bobby said
"Not a monkey." Dean argued.
"Oh I'm sorry what are you are then?' Bobby asked.
"A tiger.' Dean turned to Cas.
"Roarrrrrrrr." He said knowing his place in the scheme of Dean's young world.
"Lets get some medicine." Sam said heading to the kitchen.
"No!" Dean was away in a flash running to Bobby who scooped him up, Dean wrapped his arms around Bobby's neck.
"Sam honestly do you think it's necessary? He just sneezed for pete's sake." Bobby struggled to move his head against the vice like grip on his neck courtesy of Dean.
"Uncle Bobby." Dean mumbled in a sad little voice. "Don't want medicine."
"It's not medicine it's a multivitamin I should have been giving it to him before but I just forgot, my head is just all over place right now." Sam grabbed a spoon and the bottle from the shelf.
"No, no, no, no!" Dean yelled holding onto Bobby tighter. "Uncle Bobby please." He begged.
"Sam?" Bobby said unable to stand the sound of the child in distress, it was just too much for him to handle.
"Bobby do you want him to get sick?" Sam demanded.
"Hey you watch your tone boy, I think your overreacting." And to show him he was wrong Dean sneezed again. Sam gave Bobby a look that said told you so and the old man sighed prying Dean's arms away from his neck.
"It tastes like fruit, it's like juice." Sam said showing Dean the bottle, according to the bottle it was supposed to taste like fruit Sam hoped to hell the bastards weren't lying about that.
"Not juice, it's medicine!" Sam shook the bottle in his hand.
"Dean I hate to break it to you but your not going to get out of this one you have to drink it. Just one spoon your a big boy right." Bobby said. Sam poured a spoonful of grape coloured syryp in the spoon and held it out to Dean's mouth that was sealed firmly shut.
"Just one spoon." Sam begged. Dean shook his head.
"Maybe we can leave it till later." Bobby suggested.
"Bobby do you know how cranky children are if they are sick do you really think we can deal with that?"
"Oh I don't have a clue Martha your the expert all of a sudden." Bobby said.
"Prevention is better than cure." Sam said still holding the spoon out to Dean.
"Cas!" Dean cried for help holding his arms out to the angel to rescue him.
"Dean drink it, it will be okay." The angel assuaged. "I promise."
And Dean stared at the syrup like it was poison.
"Open up buddy." Sam whispered and Dean did and allowed the syrup in his mouth but that was as far as it went, he kept it in his mouth his cheeks ballooned up with the liquid, looking like a little hamster. Sam sighed.
"Dean please swallow it." And Dean shook his head, until he could no longer keep it there and he had no option but to, he pulled a face swallowing hard and threw himself against Bobby's chest.
"See was that so bad?" Sam asked rubbing Dean's back.
"Taste like juice." Dean admitted.
"See I told you."
"Can I have more?" He asked.
"No you can't have more." Kids, Sam thought smiling to himself.
And all of a sudden Sam sneezed and they all looked up at him.
"Don't even say it." He told them.
"It always begins with a sneeze." Cas said.
"Before you know it you have a sore throat, high fever, runny nose, do you know how cranky children get?" Bobby added.
"Okay, okay."Sam said.
"Drink medicine Sammy." Dean ordered pointing at the bottle.
"Murphy's freakin' law." Sam cursed.
"Whose law?" Cas asked.
Dean put down his head on Bobby's shoulder his one hand absentmindedly reaching for the peak of Bobby's cap and playing with it. Bobby put a hand to Dean's face.
"What?" Sam asked unable to hide the worry in his voice.
"Don't panic but your right he does feel kinda warm." Bobby said. "Sam, don't worry." He quickly added.
And Sam watched Dean and thought he didn't care what Bobby said, there was just no way to stop worrying, not where Dean was concerned especially now in this very fragile body. Sam couldn't shake the feeling that something was indeed not right with Dean and he really hoped he would be proven wrong.
A/N I know, I know I am being absolutely mean just leaving it there I am awful! But we'll get there soon just pray the universe works with me and we should be golden.
A side note I don't know how Sam would know the bunny ear's tying method, but his a smart guy so maybe he would know something like that, me on the other hand didn't have a clue, I wanted Dean to learn a skill that for a child would be a little difficult to master but for an adult pretty basic, so I thought tying your shoe laces!And I had no idea how to explain it in a cute, fun way, and I was telling my friend of my conundrum and he goes, nonchalontly oh he and his wife used this bunny ear method with their kids and I was of course like the-what-the-what method? It worked out pretty well I think. And now I am rambling on and on, but yeah thank you for reading and I hope you liked that. Take care and be good to each other.