A/N: So, here it is, the final chapter. I know this whole fic isn't much more than just a lot of family schmoop and no real plot, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. Maybe those of you who like reading sick!Dean and comforting!Sam will like it for that if nothing else. Thanks to all of you who have either reviewed (thanks, Shan!) or put this on your favorites list. PRL and I appreciate that, very much. Keep watching…we'll be writing more, I can guarantee it!
The next morning, Dean woke up feeling pretty damn good, but for still having a bit of a cough. He was more than ready to get back to work; being cooped up in the house for a week with pneumonia wasn't his idea of a good time, although…he had managed to show his sexy wife he still had some stamina during their middle-of-the-night lovemaking sessions.
He sat up on the edge of the bed and looked back at Jamie. She was curled up on her side, facing him, strands of her honey blonde hair spread out on her pillow, and with a slender hand resting on her mounded belly, cradling their unborn daughter. She looked so beautiful to him. He studied her, amazed that he'd found her and was so lucky to have her, and their children, in his life. He didn't know what he'd done to deserve them, but he vowed to never take them for granted.
He turned and bent down to kiss her lightly on the forehead, and smiled when she softly murmured his name. He whispered, "I love you," and when she didn't waken, he rose from bed and made his way into the bathroom to get cleaned up.
Less than fifteen minutes later, he stepped out of the bedroom, leaving Jamie still sleeping, and crossed the hall to go into the boys' room. It was still early, so he wasn't surprised to find both of them still sleeping. Ethan lay sprawled out over his bed, blankets tossed off, an arm thrown over his head across his pillow.
Dean smiled down at his eldest. In so many ways Ethan was like him: his hair, eyes, freckles, and how protective he was over his little brother. Looking down at the boy, though, Dean saw what he used to see in Sam when they were kids. Sam was a sprawler. He'd take his half of the bed right out of the middle if he were allowed to. The times the two of them had had to share a bed, Dean often woke up to find Sam hogging the center of the bed, with himself hugging the edge unless Sam had curled himself next to Dean's side. Sam was a snuggler as well, putting off so much body heat Dean would wake up in a sweat.
Yeah, Ethan had his Uncle Sammy in him too and, Dean considered, that's not an entirely bad thing. He reached down and tugged the blankets up and over the boy, tucking them around him then ran a caressing hand over his spiky, bed-mussed hair.
He turned toward Seth, and released a soft chuckle. Seth, like his mama, was curled up on his side, a thumb thrust inside his mouth. He wasn't alone. Ozzy was curled up behind the child, in the V behind his bent legs. When Dean moved close, Ozzy lifted his head and looked up, sleepy brown eyes half open. He thumped his tail a couple times, and seeing he wasn't being told to get off the bed, laid his head back down over the boys' legs, and closed his eyes once more.
Dean petted the dog and said, "Keep and eye on them, Oz." He leaned down and kissed Seth on the head, and breathing deep, took in the scent of warm boy. He smiled and ran a hand over soft hair, then moved back and quietly slipped out of the room.
When Jamie walked into the kitchen almost an hour later, she found Dean sitting at the table, the morning paper spread out in front of him, and a steaming mug of coffee in his hand. She slipped behind his chair and wrapped her arms around him, resting her palms over his chest. "Morning."
Dean tipped his head back, meeting his lips to hers in a long kiss. "Mornin' to you, too. Sleep well?"
"Mmm, hmmm," Jamie hummed in reply. "Someone wore me out last night, and I don't think it was this one," she grinned, rubbing her belly. She crossed to the stove, and wasn't surprised to find the tea kettle already hot. As always, Dean had made sure it was ready for her to pour her hot tea when she got up.
Dean turned to watch as she poured hot water over her tea bag. It was jasmine this morning. "I didn't hear you complaining last night." He abandoned the paper and his coffee to stand and cross the room to wrap his arms around her from behind. "In fact, I distinctly recall you pleading for more." He dipped his head and nuzzled her neck, pushing her hair aside to make room for his lips.
Jamie sighed happily. "That wasn't just me, sweetheart. You were pretty vocal yourself."
Dean chuckled. He had been. Jamie rocked his world, and he suspected he'd done the same for her. Giving her another kiss on the neck, he asked, "Hungry? I'll do the honors and fix breakfast this morning."
Jamie turned in his arms. "You sure? You were reading the paper—"
"I can finish it later. Sit. Drink your tea. Read the paper yourself while I check on the boys, then I'll get breakfast together." Dean pulled out her chair for her and once she was seated, he brought her tea to her. "I'll be back in a few."
Jamie smiled up at him. "You're too good to me."
Dean looked down at her, and for a brief moment all of the humor left his eyes. He reached out and cupped her face tenderly. "I think," he said softly, "you've got that turned around, Ja. You are too good for me." Before she could protest, he bent down and gave her a hot kiss.
He walked back upstairs and looked in on the boys. He picked up Elly, who had fallen out of Ethan's hand and was lying on the carpet. Dean smiled as he sat down on the bed, just right on the edge. He reached out and lightly beeped Ethan on the nose with the trunk of his toy elephant. Ethan mumbled a little and shifted in his sleep. Dean turned and looked over at Ozzy and chuckled.
"Go to Phase Two, Oz?" he asked. Ozzy's tail thumped a little and he smiled his doggy smile. How he loved Alpha Dean and the rest of the pack.
Dean once again picked up the toy elephant; this time he tickled his eldest on the nose with the stuffed animal. Ethan giggled and wiggled a little, then opened his eyes, the same shade of forest green as his Daddy.
"Hey, sleepyhead," Dean said, giving his eldest a kiss on his sweet little nose.
Ethan sat up in bed and reached out to Dean, who lifted the boy up into a hug. Dean buried his nose in his son's warm neck. "Mornin', son. What'ta ya say we rouse your brother and get the two of you dressed?"
Ethan nodded and pulled from his daddy's arms. "Are you feelin' better today, daddy? Is the bugs all gone?"
"Almost, buddy. Just a few left, but I think a full day of hanging out with you and your bubba and your mama and Oz will get rid of them all." Dean ruffled Ethan's hair and boosted the boy off the bed. "Go wake your brother up, 'kay?"
Ethan grinned. "C'n I tickle 'im?"
Dean grinned right back. "Just be gentle, okay?"
Ethan nodded and put his little finger to his lips and went "shhh!"
Dean mimed zipping his lips, and sat on the bed, smiling as his eldest made his way over to his little brother's bed without a sound.
Seth hadn't budged an inch, and still didn't move when Ethan gently lifted back his blanket, exposing his little brother's tiny feet and adorable little toes.
Ethan laughed under his breath as he gently began to dance his fingers over Seth's smooth soles.
Seth's little foot gave a twitch, but the child continued to sleep.
Ethan tickled him again, this time getting a leg jerk in response. "He's not wakin' up, Daddy," Ethan complained, pouting.
Dean rose from the bed and crossed to Seth's. He sat on the edge and said, giving his eldest a wink. "Lemme try." He ran a finger along the bottom of Seth's foot, letting it slide between the toes. This made Seth turn his head on his pillow.
Both of them watched as the little boy's chocolate brown eyes flittered open. He reached up and knuckled his fists over his eyes.
"Mornin', Bubba!" Ethan giggled. "Time ta get up."
"Don' wanna," Seth grumbled. "S'ill s'eepy."
"Well," Dean said, "I'm gonna have to speak to the Sandman and let him know that he needs to cut back on sand for your bubba," Dean said to Ethan. "In the meantime, however..." he raised up the shirt part of Seth's pajama top.
Ethan clapped his hand over his mouth to stem off his laughter. He knew what was coming.
"You've brought this on yourself, kiddo!" Dean announced, giving Seth a resounding zerbert right on his cute little belly.
Seth giggled uncontrollably as Dean blew kisses on his belly. "Stop it, DaDa...it tickles!"
Dean chuckled as he grabbed his son up and lifted him off the bed and over his shoulder. "Ok, Monkey Boy, let's get you dressed. Mama's waiting downstairs."
Within a few minutes, both boys had their day clothes chosen and put on, and the three headed down to the kitchen, Ozzy following at their heels. As soon as they stepped through the doorway, Seth bounded over to the table and threw himself at Jamie. "Mornin' MaMa! DaDa an' E'tan tickled me wake!"
"They did?" Jamie laughed. "That doesn't sound fair to me, bud. I think you might have to tickle them back later. What do you think?"
"Uh huh. Will you he'p me, Mama?" Seth asked her, giving her a perfect copy of his Uncle Sam's Puppy Eyes.
"I sure will, precious," she replied tenderly. There was nothing she loved more than the sounds of her children laughing and having fun. She kissed him on the nose, as Ethan climbed up onto his chair and Dean poured a bowl of dog chow for Ozzy. Ozzy dove his snout straight into the bowl, snuffling happily as he ate. Dean then started to get down the bowls for cereal, even as Jamie protested, "Dean, I can -"
"Yeah, I know you can, but I WANT to. You and Doc and Heather have had to take care of me all week. Let me care for you and the boys right now okay?"
Jamie got Seth settled in his chair and nodded. "Okay." She whispered to the little boy, "your Daddy's so stubborn, you know that?" Ethan giggled and nodded, even though he wasn't quite sure what 'stubborn' meant.
"I heard that and I'm choosing to ignore it," Dean said, as he popped some toast in the toaster, then went to the cupboard where they kept the cereal. He knew what Jamie wanted-a bowl of Shredded Wheat along with a big cup of fruit salad. "Okay, we've got Cocoa Puffs and we've got Rice Krispies. Who wants what?"
"Co' Puffs!" Seth said as he bounced in his chair. "Me wants Co' Puffs."
"You got it, buddy," Dean said then gave Ethan a questioning look. "You too, E?"
"Yes, p'ease," Ethan nodded. "C'n I have Wice Cwispies in it too?"
"Of course, son." Dean put a mix of the cereal in both boys' bowls, already anticipating that Seth would want the same thing, hearing his big brother's request.
He was right.
He set their bowls out for them, leaving Jamie to assist while he got her breakfast ready. Only after the others were tended to did he fix his own meal, which ended up a combination of the other's choices-sweet cereal as well as fruit.
Ethan watched as Daddy placed a plate heaping with toast on the table, then turned back to the 'fridge to get out the butter and cherry preserves. Man, Dean was hungry. It felt soooo good to have an appetite again - and to be able to DO something about it. He buttered some slices of toast and handed one to each child. "Babe?" he asked Jamie, "You want butter or jam?"
"Jam, please," Jamie replied, and took the offered piece with a smile.
Ethan nibbled at his toast as Dean got some milk for the boys and some coffee for himself. "Mommy?" he asked.
"Uh-huh?" Jamie replied.
"How come you eats stuff with chewwies all th' time now? You didn't used to!"
Jamie swallowed her toast and took a sip of tea. "Well, honey, your Sissy likes cherries, and I'm trying to eat things that she likes while she's growing in my tummy. Cherries are good for me, and they're good for her, too."
Ethan nodded, understanding. "Did you eats stuff for me and Bubba 'fore we was borned?"
"I sure did! Seth liked for me to eat strawberries. You, on the other hand, loved ice cream. Imagine that!" She chuckled, reaching out to tickle his stomach.
"I s'ill wike st'awbewwies," Seth announced after he slurped his milk.
"Do you know what Uncle Sam liked when he was your age?" Dean asked the boys. When he got dual head shakes, he replied, "He loved french fries-the ones from McDonalds especially. He'd drown them in catsup. 'Course you wouldn't know that now, since he's salad boy these days."
The boys giggled over their daddy's name for Uncle Sam.
"Daddy," Ethan asked, "what was Unca Sam like when he was a lil' kid?"
Before Dean could answer him, Seth's eyes grew wide as he started to laugh, a sweet giggle.
"What's so funny, sweetheart?" Jamie questioned.
"U-Unca Zam-widdle..." Seth's merry laughter bounced through the room. "Unca Zam wasn't eva' widdle!"
Dean chuckled. "Believe it or not, your Uncle Sam was small too, when he was your age. He didn't get tall until he was a teenager. Now he's a sasquatch."
Seth laughed. "Sas'cach? Tha's funny!"
As they continued to eat, Dean regaled them with more stories about Sam as a little boy. There was a lot he couldn't tell them, even were they old enough to understand. He saved those tales for another day.
Finally, breakfast was over and while Jamie, with Ozzy's help, herded the boys upstairs to get cleaned up and their teeth brushed, Dean straightened up the kitchen. Just as he was stashing the last of the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, the phone rang.
Dean's walked over and picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Well, you're soundin' loads better," rumbled the voice on the line, a voice that always managed to sound full of good humor, even through all the things Dr. Garrett McCoy had seen. "How you feelin', Dean?"
"Almost back to myself... 'cept for this frigging cough," Dean replied.
"Well, I'll be over in about ten minutes and give you a check-up, and see if you're well enough to get back to work."
"That's great, Doc. We'll be waiting for you." Dean hung up with a smile. He was never so happy with the idea of seeing a doctor in his life.
Within minutes, the distinctive sound of Doc's Harley pulling up outside had Dean walking to the front door, opening it for his friend. "Hey, Doc. You're a sight for sore eyes."
Doc carried his bag inside and set it on the coffee table. "That's always a good thin' to hear," he grinned, patting Dean on the shoulder. "Gettin' cabin fever, are ya, son?"
"You have no idea," Dean agreed, dryly. "I love my family, but shit, man, I need fresh air, y'know?"
"Well, have a seat and let me take a look at ya," Doc ordered as he pulled his steth from his bag.
Just as he did so, and put it against Dean's chest, Jamie and the boys came downstairs. "Doc'or, Doc'or!" Seth chattered happily.
Ethan trotted up next to Doc and looked on very seriously. "What'cha doin?" he asked.
Doc smiled at the boys and gave Jamie a nod of greeting. "Right now boys, I'm listenin' to your Daddy's heart." He took the steth and placed the earbuds in Ethan's ears, then held the instrument back over Dean's heart. "Hear that? That's your Daddy's heart. Beatin' nice 'n strong, huh?"
Ethan listened, and his eyes grew huge at the rthymic 'thrum-thrum' in his ears. "Tha's Daddy's 'eart? C'n I hear mine?"
"Absolutely," Doc said with a smile as he moved the steth from Dean's chest to Ethan's. "What do you hear?"
Ethan listened, but was disappointed. "Mine's same as Daddy's."
"Well, that means your heart is healthy too." Doc placated the child.
"Me wan's to wisten too," Seth pouted.
Doc took the steth's ear buds from Ethan and put them in Seth's ears, and put the other end on Ethan's chest. "Listen to Ethan," he suggested.
Seth's little brown eyes grew huge. "Boom boom!" he grinned.
Doc then put the steth on Seth's tiny chest and the little boy's eyes were even wider.
"Sound good?" asked Dean, and he had to laugh when the little imp gave him a thumbs up.
Doc ran a few more tests, and then Jamie asked, "So, what's the prognosis, Doc?"
Doc gave her a grin. "Looks real good, missy. I'd say Dean here can go back to work Monday if he wants to. Just let me know if he pushes it and has a backslide."
"Standin' right here, you know," Dean grumped. "I can judge my health just fine on my own."
Doc huffed. "Yeah, sure. We saw how well you managed that a week ago. Take it easy for a few more days, or I'll have Jamie call me and we'll tie you down," he threatened.
Ethan giggled, laughing at the thought of his daddy being tied up. "If'n you do dat, c'n I he'p you?"
Jamie tried (and failed ) not to laugh, while Doc outright snorted in amusement. Dean slowly turned and cocked an eyebrow at his eldest.
"Oh, really?" he said, before reaching out and sweeping the child into his arms. "I think I gave the wrong kid one of these this morning..." He laid the child on the couch and raised up Ethan's shirt.
"Oh, no! Daddy, nonono-EEEEEK!" Ethan erupted into squeaks and giggles as Dean doled out his second zerbert of the day.
Doc and Jamie watched, grins lighting their faces, as Dean playhoused with his sons, because Seth couldn't bear not getting in on the action. As the three tumbled together on the floor, Doc turned to Jamie and said, his voice soft, "Let me know how he does, ok? Don't let him go all gangbusters for another couple days yet. I'll check in with you in a few days just to make sure everything's alright."
"Thanks, Doc, for everything," Jamie said, giving him a hug. "Can I get you something to drink? The coffee's fresh."
"Coffee'd be great," Doc replied with a nod of his head.
As Doc followed Jamie to the kitchen (Ozzy close on Jamie's heels hoping for a treat) he turned and looked at the scene behind him with a smile. Dean was sitting on the couch, Ethan on his left and Seth cuddled in at his Daddy's right. They were talking about watching a movie and then doing some coloring to celebrate Daddy finally triumphing over those nasty bugs that had made him so sick.
Doc smiled. With love, he knew there was nothing Dean and his family couldn't overcome.