Two years seems like a lifetime ago for Dean and Sam. The town, Hunter's Rest, was just what Kirra had said it would be. There were the normal things you'd see in a town: grocery store, strip malls, gyms that were always full, restaurants, quaint little Bed and Breakfast Inn that was always full unless it had out of town guests for the families here. They shied away from having strangers stay more than a day or two and the auto-repair shop was top notch at making sure that any break downs were repaired and on their way as fast as possible. The sheriff from Bobby's hometown transferred to Hunter's Rest and Dean and Sam had made a side bet that sooner or later they would be standing at the small chapel beside a very nervous Bobby. Funny thing is the town seemed to be so normal.
Hunter's Headquarters were Dean and Sam spent most of their days anymore. Researching and assigning cases was Sam's thing now and helping Bobby log all the knowledge they'd acquired in their experiences. Dean leaned more towards training at the academy, ensuring that nobody was without a way to defend themselves against whatever may come after them. He was good at that. Sometimes they went out on hunts, but the longest they stayed out was may be a week or so, and lately they didn't stray too far from home.
Dean didn't complain much over this, since Lisa and him were on their second child, and he couldn't be happier. Ben was adjusting quit well as there were enough kids in town now that he had a whole new set of things he could talk about and of course it didn't hurt that his "dad" and uncle were the most famous or most infamous depending on who you talked to. At first it had been awkward settling in, Dean would often get woke up in the middle of the night with phone calls of hunter's desperately needing advice or someone would never fail to show up on their doorstep with a "problem" they needed help with. Ben thought it was all way to cool to be the most popular and admired family in town and he loved every second of it.
Sam and Kirra had a house across the street from Lisa and Dean where they stayed mostly to themselves unless responsibilities called them out or Dean insisted they come over and take on some family diaper duty. Sam would roll his eyes and hand in hand him and Kirra would go over and sit for hours watching Dean and his little baby girl coo and giggle. Sam's heart had never been so full, so happy, and he didn't once regret giving up the life. Dean had been fed up with it back when they had first encountered Croatoan and Sam was just glad things went the way they had.
The only drawbacks were Sam's headaches. He could feel Kirra in his mind sometimes taking the pain away and occasionally his hands shook uncontrollably. He hid it as much as he could, but Kirra knew, and when he caught her looking he also caught the shadow's she quickly hid. He knew that one day she would tell him what he probably didn't want to hear but right now he was going to enjoy life. So here he sat, bouncing little Mary Sue on his knee, her beautiful sandy blonde head bobbing up and down as she sucked on her fist, occasionally offering her goopy hand to Uncle Sam to see if he wanted to taste it too. He had a cold beer on one side, his brother operating the grill, and Kirra's lovely profile on the other.
"Hey there baby girl, I think you've occupied Uncle Sam long enough don't you?" Lisa came from behind and Sam turned to smile at her. Lisa took her daughter from and noted his shaky hands.
"You cold Sam?" she asked, Dean hearing the question and turned to look at his brother with a frown on his face. It was 77 degrees outside. Sam smiled at Lisa, and waved at Mary Sue who gargled at him and laid her head on her mother's shoulder.
"Her drool cooled my hands a bit." he winked at Lisa who laughed and walked over to Dean. He leaned down and kissed Lisa then his little girl.
"Foods almost done if you want to put her down we'll get everything on the table." Lisa nodded.
"Sounds good, be back in a flash." She walked in as Kirra got up and stepped in line behind her.
"Oh Kirra can you get the plates for me while I put her down?" Kirra nodded.
"Sure, do you need a drink while I'm in there?"
"Lemonade would great. Has anyone seen Ben?" Lisa asked as she walked into the kitchen and stretched her back, she was a few months along now and just barely showing, but already she was getting aches if she was on her feet for too long, and accepted the drink Kirra handed her and followed her out to the dining room where she began putting plates out.
"I think he's walking home with Bobby from headquarters. Jodie called a few minutes ago and said that she was off duty and heading home to change. So everyone should be here soon." As Kirra set the table she watched Lisa put the baby in a crib in the living room. They had a room decorated just for her but Dean couldn't bring himself to let her sleep in it alone though. One crib was in the living room and the other was in his and Lisa's room. Some fears, Kirra thought to herself, she just couldn't ease for the Winchesters. Lisa looked at Kirra and smiled.
"You have a secret ... "she smiled, pointing her finger accusingly. Kirra chuckled.
"I do." she smiled mysteriously, her fangs peeking out. Here in the home of her new family she didn't put on the glamour to hide what she was and no one disapproved of it. They even made fun of her ears sometimes and laughed at how uncomfortable Dean would get if she smiled directly at him with full fang showing.
Tonight they would eat dinner together; all of them, Dean and his family, her and Sam, Bobby and his soon to be fiancé Sheriff Jodie Mills. It was a wonderful experience for them all. Sam was still a bit uncomfortable with large groups of people, mainly because he never had this many people in one place who care so much for him or his brother. Nevertheless, these dinners were the bread and butter of the Winchester's lately and Lisa expected it every Sunday like clockwork. If we were lucky Castiel would show up, and he was always invited.
"Hey, we aren't late are we?" Bobby asked as him and Ben walked in the door.
"Why didn't you two ride up here with Jodie?" Lisa asked, as she took the rolls from Bobby's hands.
"I had to talk to Ben about something." Lisa gave Ben a sharp look. "You aren't in trouble are you?" Ben's eyes widened.
"No, I swear!" he said and took off towards Dean and the grill. Bobby chuckled.
"I asked him if he would be my ring bearer." It took a minute for it to sink in then Lisa began clapping her hands and squealing. Kirra smiled softly, apples and plumeria floating on the air around her as she went to hug Bobby.
"Congratulations Bobby. " Bobby laughed.
"Yeah well if hadn't been for you ... " Jodie walked in just then and interrupted him, "If it hadn't been for Kirra you'd have never had the guts to do anything but ask for help to hid all the bodies." Bobby laughed and hugged her in welcome.
"Beer's in the ice chest next to Sam, Dean's almost done with the grill." They all walked outside and joined in the current argument between Sam and Dean on who had the most monster kills, Sam claiming that the year he was Soulless and had become RoboHunter he'd far exceeded Dean's tally. Bobby stepped in to the argument by tossing out that he was older and had more than the two of them put together and everyone groaned as the guys began recounting the "good o'l days".
"It's good to see them so happy. " Castiel remarked from behind Kirra. She turned and smiled her greeting to the archangel, happy that he had made it.
"It is." she said, turned again to watch the people outside.
"How goes your end?" Cas asked.
"The Daoine warriors are adjusting well. Your weapons should be reforged and on their way back to you soon. As far as the rest, it will be complete by the end of the celebration tonight. I've asked the town to not show up till later though, to give them time." Cas nodded.
"They are impatient but eagerly awaiting."
"Cas!" Dean had just noticed that Cas had appeared and was waving him outside. Cas nodded to him, but hesitated, turning to Kirra once more.
"How is Sam?" Kirra looked towards Sam and smiled softly.
"Both him and Dean never bring it up nor do they ask about it, but both have resigned themselves to staying within the town barrier." Cas nodded.
"I'm sorry Kirra. We tried everything we could, but the damage was extensive. We're lucky Sam survived at all." She nodded.
"He knows but he never brings it up Cas. I am always there, a shadow in his mind now, keeping him together. While in the barrier of the town, it does require much of my attention unless he taps a memory on accident. But as I said they are both adjusting."
"Of course Dean would never hunt without his brother at side." He looked at her. "How are you doing?" She smiled secretively and moved with Cas towards the family outside.
"Fine." Cas raised his eyebrows at the comment but let it go.
"I'm taking this off the grill then we can all sit down and eat and sing happy birthday to Sam, who is by far the oldest living Sasquatch on record!" Dean pronounced with a wave of the spatula he was using to remove the hamburgers from the grill. Everyone laughed and Sam rolled his eyes. They all grabbed either a plate of food to carry in from the grill or a drink and slowly moved towards the table.
The conversation was light and easy, every so often on the reminder of Sam's birthday the brother's would get a sorrowful look on their faces then it would be immediately gone with some witty remark from one or the other. Bobby announced his engagement to Jodie, who showed off her ring and stated, "I made sure it was purchased with legal tender" like everyone would believe her just because she was a sheriff. Bobby blushed and sputtered but kissed her quickly and nodded his head, though his silence was telling. You can take a hunter off the street but you just can't take the street out of the hunter it seems.
"Instead of having cake tonight for Sam's celebration of his birth I decided that it would be nice to take a walk down town and welcome in a new business." Kirra announced to everyone's surprise.
"Oh, you never told me we had incoming this week." Sam said frowning. Kirra smiled at him, apples and plumeria filling the room.
"Oh no, apples again. Who'd you free Meg? Ruby? God please not Ruby I'd have to kill that biiii .. OUCH!" Dean exclaimed, rubbing his shin under the table and glaring at Lisa. Ben snickered and received a pinch from his mother for his act.
"Ow ... " he mouthed but shut it quickly with the look he received.
"I think it's a perfect way to celebrate Sam's birthday with the arrival of new people and more business for the town is always great. Let's get the table cleaned up before we go though," Lisa said to cover up Dean's snarky remark, "and Dean you and Ben get Mary ready."
Sam rose, grabbed Kirra's arm, and walked her outside, away from everyone.
"What's going on?" he asked. Kirra wrapped her arms around him and smiled sweetly.
"What?" she said. Sam cocked his head and smiled back.
"You can't and hide anything from me. You're like an open book. Something's up. You never once mentioned anything about this and you always tell us whose incoming in case there was a bad history. So spill it." Kirra danced laughingly away from Sam and began walking backwards into the house, eyes sparkling.
"Patience is a virtue Sam. This will be a good lesson for you." Sam shook his head.
"You're up to something," he said walking menacingly towards her. She giggled and walked faster into the house, spying Dean she grabbed Mary Sue from his arms and began strapping her into the stroller. Sam sighed and then looked around them.
"Dude, how much of your house do you need to take? We're only going a few blocks." Dean looked at Sam.
"Seriously, would you leave on a Hunt with only half of your weapons?"
"You have a portable crib, a diaper bag, a bottle warmer, 3 pacifiers, baby wipes, her stroller, 2 different blankets, 3 bibs, food, a full selection of bottles, 2 changes of clothes ...," Sam stopped and looked at Dean with wide eyes,"oh no we babysat for you and Lisa last night, seriously dude I need adult time too." Dean snorted.
"You get plenty of adult time, honestly, close the shades, and stay inside; you two are like rabbits after dark man, its scaring Ben." Sam huffed, mumbled something under his breath, and shuffled his feet.
"Besides, this isn't for your house. She's eating solid foods now and the toxic fumes are enough to take down a Wendigo. You have to be prepared." Dean looked up at him with a serious expression on his face, Mary Sue gurgling happily to herself as everyone looked down at her.
"Ok then, let's go." Kirra moved to open the door and everyone filed out. Dean looked back and frowned.
"Where'd Cas go? Left already? Freakin' rude ass angel," he stated affectionately. Kirra shrugged and fell into step beside Sam, who took her hand and glanced questioningly down at her. She shrugged again and leaned into him for a quick hug then they were all off and walking towards town.
"Sounds like the town beat us here." Ben remarked.
They could all hear music, but Dean immediately recognized it wasn't just any music. It was his music, and by god it was coming from a building that looked so much like the Ellen's Roadhouse. He and Sam stopped in stunned silence. There it stood in all its glory, music and laughter could be heard coming from within. An old pickup truck parked outside, so achingly familiar, and Cas waiting by the door to the bar. Sam's hand clenched Kirra's, him and Dean staring at her in open-mouthed shock. She smiled at them.
"A debt has been paid Sam, an old one, owed to you. Cas added to it a few more friendly faces. Go to them, they're waiting." They grabbed Bobby and took off in a dead run, sparing a glance at Cas who nodded to them as he opened the door.
Carry on my Wayward Son blared on the jukebox, Ellen wiped down the bar, Jo was serving his Mom and Dad a beer and for just a moment Sam and Dean couldn't move. Couldn't breathe through the emotions swamping them. John and Mary looked up and smiled.
"Boys."John said, tipping his head.
That was all it took, everything feel neatly in place inside Dean and Sam at that moment. Long ago, a request had been made, a demand really, for the worst possible sacrifice all that had been asked was his family back together and happy and possibly for the first the time that being had been held accountable and made good on his word. He figured it had something to do with Kirra mentioning she had "taken care" of him. Sam never cared enough to question her on that either. Right now, he definitely cared about only this moment. The moment Kirra and Cas had given him his whole family back, safe and sound, and in one piece, sort of. He smiled at Kirra, a bright loving and thankful smile, knowing she was in his head holding him together.
They laughed, drank, and talked all night long. John and Mary doted on little Mary Sue and Ben quickly learned that John was going to be a great ally in getting Dean to let him off the hook for certain things. Cas was pleased with the outcome and told Kirra so, who nodded and smiled at him.
"You still haven't told all of your secrets have you?" Cas asked. She smiled.
"Fathers are important aren't they Cas?"
"Indeed they are." He said softly.
"Yes, indeed they are Castiel." Cas turned abruptly and stared.
Chuck sat on a stool, an amulet glowing in front of him on the bar, a drink in one hand. Cas's mouth popped open and he started to go to his knees. Kirra caught him quickly by the arm and walked him to a bar stool.
"Not here, son, there's enough drama for the time being." Chuck stated and smiled at Cas who simply stared. Kirra nodded and walked over to Sam, leaving this Father and son alone for their own moment of celebration.
"I can't thank you enough." he said. She laughed.
"Well I thought it was important that your whole family be together for such an important time." Sam laughed.
"My birthday is not that important Kirra."
"Sam, that's not true!" his mother exclaimed. Kirra nodded.
"I agree but that wasn't exactly what I was talking about." Sam looked quizzically down at her.
"What did you mean?"
"I meant the celebration of Parenthood." She took his hand and smiled. "It's my final secret of the night Sam."The light dawned and Dean whooped and yelled "Another round for the father to be, may the neighborhood finally get some damn sleep!" Everyone laughed at Sam's blush.
"Congratulations Sam!" Jo said as she placed another round of beers on the table.
"One last gift if you don't mind .. " Chuck extended his arm over the table, the glowing amulet dangling in the light before them. Dean and Sam both stared at it for a moment then up at Chuck in stunned silence, who smiled at them.
"I'll let you boys figure out what to do with this." The instant it hit the table it stopped glowing. Chuck blinked twice.
"Hey guys!" he said cheerfully.
"Chuck?" Dean questioned.
"Well yeah, who else did you think I was?" he chuckled.
"Seriously .. ?" Dean started to say something but Chuck just looked at him.
"Hey I suddenly have a new inspiration for a set of books ... anyone got a computer I can borrow?" he asked grabbing a beer from the table.
"Sure Chuck, anything you want ... " Dean looked around the bar and noted Cas was missing again. He sighed and glanced at Sam who motioned to the amulet.
"It was always yours Dean. Put it on." Dean reverently placed the amulet back around his neck.
"Now everything is good, it's really good." he said.
A/N: I really hated to end the story like this, all fluffy and happy like, but I just couldn't bring myself to end it on a sad note. I had a few different endings in mind, you may have noticed the playing up a bit of Sam's headaches for a while. But instead I decided that it was a feel good ending that I was going to go with. Maybe somewhere down the line I'll change this up a bit, but for now I'm going to go work on a new piece I'm writing. Who knows maybe I'll peak in on everyone at Hunter's Rest in a few months and see how the newest additions are doing.