So, this will be kind of a sequel to "Your Hell Burns, Mine Glitters"; it'll be fragments of June's and Sam's lives after the resurrection of Sam's soul – which in no way means that it'll be all apple pie from then on – tied together loosely by a plot. =)
Basically, it's me playing in my sandbox trying to ignore that the Winchesters belong to Eric Kripke. Which in reality, they sadly do, sigh. These disclaimers always hurt.
Hope you enjoy and feedback is always loved! =)
Rated M for probable sexual content later on, and some language and pain along the way...
Great-Aunts And Other Spooks Part 1
"Now who is that sexy guy over there?" Lydia craned her neck to get a better look at the thirty-something leaning against a classic car's hood, arms crossed in front of his muscle-packed chest and longish brown hair falling into his handsome face.
June looked up to follow Lydia's line of vision and huffed. "My boyfriend."
"Yeah, right," Lydia never took her eyes off Sam, and it was clear she didn't believe her fellow student.
"You have doubts?" June arched an eyebrow.
"June, sweetie, you know we love you," Kayla threw in, "But that gift to womanhood over there could have anyone he wanted, and I'm pretty sure average art students aren't on his list."
June shook her head, never having been one for pointless discussions. She liked her friends, she did; they made her feel normal and part of the real world. However, the kind of love and the depth of feeling she felt for Sam, she only felt for him.
So, really, she wasn't too upset about her friends' obvious disbelief that she could have scored that high. Hell, there were moments when she couldn't believe it herself. Another reason she wasn't particularly concerned with their drooling over her boyfriend was that she knew that the second Sam would tell any of these girls what he really did, they'd take off running into the other direction.
"Think he's a new professor?" Lydia grinned. "I wouldn't mind having late-night classes with him."
June snorted. Sam was a lot of things, but an upstanding teacher of the society? Not so much. Unless, maybe, it was about folklore and the truth about religion, if there were such a subject.
"Alright, girls, I'm gone," June smiled, "Boyfriend waiting."
Lydia and Kayla watched June stride towards the hot newcomer with a mixture of awe and shock. Their jaws dropped as their eyebrows shot up when said hotness put his arms around June's waist and pulled her close for a seriously passionate kiss.
June smiled against Sam's lips and threw her arms around his neck. "I don't recall having you granted permission to drive my baby."
"Seemed like you did when you gave me the spare key." Sam held up said other set of keys to June's Impala. Only, that it was their Impala now. "'What's mine is yours', I think you said."
"Me and my stupid fits of sentimentality."
Sam chuckled, kissed her again and then opened the passenger's door for her. "Don't worry, tigress, I'll take good care of our baby."
"I can't believe I let him adopt you," June patted the dashboard consolingly, "Mommy's sorry, darling. You'll get an extra-nice oil change for Christmas, alright?"
"June. You think you could go back to behaving like a grown woman again?"
"Are you indicating I'm immature?"
"I'm not indicating, I'm saying it out loud: You're being immature."
"No arguing in front of the child, Sam."
Sam rolled his eyes and pulled said child onto the road. Impalas and their owners. It wasn't enough that Dean loved his Impala a little too much for comfort, no, June was referring to theirs as their child. "You know, June, if you have motherly instincts flowing over…"
"I'm not pregnant."
"That wasn't what I meant." Sam's hold on the steering wheel had temporarily tightened; He hadn't even thought about June being pregnant, nor had he meant to indicate she should be. A little too early to become a father; and he was definitely not prepared.
"We won't get a puppy, either."
"Did you just put having a baby and getting a dog on the same level of catastrophe?"
"I think I did, yeah."
"So either, you're really not a dog person, or you're not too disinclined to a child."
"Alright, let's switch topics, I promise I won't mommy-talk to the car again."
Sam nearly slammed the breaks; he'd expected a vehement denial, a snappy rejoinder. Anything, really, but her backing out of the discussion.
He shot her a wary side-glance. "You sure you're not-"
"I am not pregnant, Sam. If I were, you'd be first to know, believe me. Business partners are always informed first about corporate changes."
"Hilarious." Sam rolled his eyes. "It's just that…"
"Just because I have motherly feelings for my car doesn't mean I'm going to pop out a surprise in nine months."
"Well, there'd also be the cravings for ice cream lately," Sam threw in carefully.
June snapped her head around to look at her boyfriend, not able to decide whether to glare in shock, annoyance or worry. "Do you want me to be pregnant, is that it?"
"No, of course not, June."
'Not yet, anyways,' Sam added in thought. "I'm just observing certain changes lately."
"I've always talked to my car that way, and ice cream's just a phase."
"Yeah, a phase of possibly nine months."
June bit her lip, suddenly getting worried. She'd never paid her body's signs much respect; she was hungry, she ate; she wasn't, she didn't. She got her period, fine; but she had never counted the weeks in-between. As for her behaviour: Well, that was spinning all over the place lately, anyways. Having your soul slowly growing back together would do that to you. At least, that had been her explanation for it so far.
"I. Am. Not. Pregnant."
"Okay," Sam just replied. "Just out of curiosity, then: When was the last time you had your…?"
"Period, Sam. It's not a bad word, you can say it out loud."
He rolled his eyes. "So, when?"
June crossed her arms before her chest and bit her lip. "I don't know."
"You don't know?"
June threw up her hands helplessly but at the same time challengingly. "Because I never count weeks, alright? It doesn't matter, anyways. Come on, Sam, how could I possibly be pregnant?"
"You really want me to start bringing up the bees and the flowers? And it's not like the bee didn't have enough opportunities."
"I mean that no contraceptive is a 100%, and that we have an active enough sex life for you to maybe be pregnant."
"Active enough is an understatement," June mumbled.
The fact that Sam was right and also genuinely worried – well, maybe not worried, rather concerned – set June thinking. And she was now definitely worried. "Shouldn't I get morning sickness, though?"
"I thought that wasn't obligatory?"
"How would I know?" June had trouble keeping her voice level. "It's not like I can speak from experience!"
"Don't all women have some kind of… I don't know… sixth sense for that kind of stuff?"
"I've got a sixth sense for monsters, Sam, not babies. Whereby I'm having trouble drawing the line between them."
"Well, seventh sense, then."
"You think that if I had that seventh sense, I'd be freaking out here? I don't know, Sam! My body doesn't talk to me."
"It does, you just don't listen."
"Oh, because I don't count weeks and don't throw up in the mornings it's all my fault, is that what you're saying?"
"No, June, that is not what I'm saying!"
They had both raised their voices now; because both were slowly but very surely freaking out. Sam calmed down sooner, at least enough not to snap at June: "Look, we can't be sure, so let's not tear at each other's throats, it won't exactly solve this problem."
"Oh, so us maybe becoming parents is a problem to you?"
"See, that moodiness, right there? That only makes the pregnancy theory more believable!"
"I thought I was supposed to be emotional? What with my soul getting intact and all?"
"That isn't being emotional, that's your hormones spinning out of control!"
So much for calming down.
"My hormones are perfectly balanced! And FYI, Sam, it takes two to get pregnant!"
"Yes, but you should be the one knowing whether you are pregnant or not!"
"Oh, so just because I got the ungrateful task of carrying a bump around for nine months I'm also supposed to be omniscient and freaking be responsible for everything?"
"No, we're both responsible, but there's no way I can know whether we're expecting a child or not, because it's your body! Would you pay even the slightest attention to it, we wouldn't even have this argument!"
"So you are saying this is all my fault!"
"Damn it, June, no, I'm not!"
"Then why does it sound like you are?"
Sam brought the car to an abrupt halt and forcefully ripped the key out of the ignition. June and Sam glared heatedly at each other, not saying anything for a minute.
June nodded. "Yeah."
"I'm sorry, Sam. It's just…" June let out an uneasy laugh, "You got me worried."
Sam caressed her cheek and pulled her into a kiss. "I know. I'm sorry, too."
"Let's just get that test on the way back home and until then, not think about it, alright? It's a family party, and I really don't want to bring up a possible pregnancy in a group of elderly relatives."
"Okay." Sam kissed her forehead.
June turned around and had her hand on the door handle when Sam softly called: "June."
She looked at him. "Yeah?"
"I love you."
June smiled despite all the mixed feelings surging through her veins. "I love you, too."
They got out and walked towards the house, hand in hand. June looked perfectly content and controlled, but Sam knew better: Her possible pregnancy and the uncertainty about it were gnawing at her. Understandable, considering she wasn't even 20 years old yet, and still working on getting her own life back together.
As for him; He had enough time to think about a family. He'd planned it all out nicely by the time he was 22; it just never got around to that because destiny struck hard and fast. And he had meanwhile reached an age when you naturally and inevitably start thinking about having kids.
"Why are they having a family gathering, again?" June asked, her tone back to normal, when they stood in front of the door.
"Some great aunt of Lisa's or something… eccentric old lady demanding attention, something like that. Wanted all her family together to celebrate her birthday, and Lisa and her sister were the lucky ones to have been picked to organize it."
"Well, I gotta say, there are indeed times when I'm glad to be the last Hallberg left standing." June remarked dryly when they stood in the hallway and looked into the crowded living room. Whereby battlefield might have been the more fitting description.
"All these people are family?"
"I guess," Sam said. The age range was somewhere between 40 and 90; Ben looked a little lost and helpless between two elderly ladies undoubtedly admiring his cuteness.
"Let's save the poor kid." June resolutely dived into the crowd and seconds later came back with Ben at her hand.
"Thanks, June, seriously," He let out a relieved sigh. "Hi, Sam."
"Hey, Ben. How's it going?"
"It's like being busted by Mom for not doing my homework, only ten times worse."
"You've got no idea."
"How'd she cut you lose?" Sam asked, directed at his nephew. He was a little worried as to his girlfriend's tact, especially what consequences her insensitiveness could have in a circle of people related to Dean and Lisa.
The kid grinned and answered: "It was awesome. June barged in and said I needed to help her find her meds, the doctor said she would fall into relapse if she didn't take them regularly and that she wasn't responsible for her actions then. And that she didn't want to go back to that padded cell."
Sam looked at June in disbelief. "You didn't."
"Totally did," She replied matter-of-factly, "Should have seen how quickly those two aunties released Ben out of their clutches."
Sam shook his head, but had to smile in spite of himself.
Ben looked between his aunt and uncle and thought again how happy he was to have this family. Alright, so maybe they were a little crazy, but in a good way. Especially his aunt June rocked big time.
Ben didn't know how exactly June and Sam had ended up together, he just knew it hadn't been easy, and that they had met under complicated circumstances.
Though he was curious what exactly that meant, he wouldn't go poking; all that mattered was that they were part of his family now. And sometimes Ben didn't even want to know; there was something about the ominous past of Dean, Sam and June that scared him, and it wasn't the 'normal' monster hunting.
"I'll go look for Lisa, I think she's in dire need of support," June stated and dragged Sam with her. "And you're coming with me. Don't want you getting chatted up by old ladies again."
Sam huffed. "Thanks for reminding me."
"Anything for you, love."
Ben followed them into the kitchen.
June was welcomed with an enthusiastic embrace. "Thank God, finally some normal people!" Lisa cried out.
"Well, I gotta say, it doesn't speak for your family if we're the normal ones," June stated dryly.
Lisa released her with a chuckle. "Normal is relative. Hi, Sam." She hugged him.
"So, on a scale from one to ten, how's the crazy out there?"
"You're telling me," She rolled her eyes.
"Like a clown convention," Dean grinned as a way of greeting.
"Hilarious." Sam growled. "Seemed more like an airport to me."
Lisa and June rolled their eyes simultaneously in female consensus. "You two want something to drink?"
"A beer would be great," Sam said.
"Glass of wine, if you have," June beamed.
Lisa's head snapped up and she shot June an intense look. "Really?"
June raised her eyebrows inquiringly. "Yeah, why not?"
"Oh, nothing, I just thought you…" Lisa shrugged.
"And here we go." Sam said quietly, sighing. Ben and Dean looked at him questioningly. "Don't ask."
June's face fell as realization struck her. "I'm not pregnant. Seriously, what is it with everyone lately? Did I gain weight or something?" June whirled around to Dean. "You're not scared of telling me the truth. Did I gain weight?"
"This is a trick question, right?"
"You're saying I did gain weight." June stated flatly.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Dean shook his head then asked Sam under his breath: "Sensitive topic?"
"Major. Longer story."
"Definitely." The brothers took their beers and discreetly fled the kitchen while June complained to Lisa about how everyone thought her to be pregnant.
"Not for nothing, Sam, but your girlfriend seems a little hysterical and unbalanced."
"That's news how?"
"Well, the unbalanced part isn't, but the hysteria is."
Sam sighed. "June might be pregnant."
"But she just said she wasn't."
"We don't know."
"How can you not-"
"Right. One of those arguments?"
It had never taken many words between them to say what needed to be said. They both took a sip of their beers.
"Well, you always were a family guy."
Sam huffed. "Really, Dean?"
"If you weren't off doing your own thing, that is."
The years had washed reproach from Dean's tone when he spoke of Sam's repeated betrayal; they'd made their peace. They needed to in order to go on together. "All I'm saying is, it wouldn't be a catastrophe if June were pregnant, Sam. If I can do the father thing, you can do it at least as well."
Sam shook his head. "Dean… you have always been better father material than I have been. And may I just observe that Ben isn't an infant? Difference between baby and teenager. That aside, there'd still be June."
"Sam, she's doing great on the whole soul and empathy thing. I'm sure she'd be a good mother."
The younger Winchester looked at his brother. "She's nineteen, Dean."
"Since when does that stop you from anything?"
Sam glared at his brother.
"Forget I said that. What I meant to say is: I keep forgetting that June's nineteen. Probably because you're behaving like an old married couple at times."
Sam chuckled in spite of himself. That had been Dean's way of saying that he thought Sam and June belonged together. "Thanks for your support, bro."
"Any day. Though, really, as your older brother, I should give you a lecture about responsibility and using contra-"
"Don't say it."
Dean grinned and the brothers fell back to their comfortable silence. Ten minutes later, the porch door opened and Ben emerged. "You mind if I join you?"
"Not at all."
Ben blew out air. "Thanks. Laura's back from her sucking up to Great Aunt What's-Her-Name, the rich hag."
"Language," Dean reprimanded without much authority.
"Right, sorry, Dad. My un-beloved Aunt Laura is back from her sucking up to Great Aunt What's- Her-Name, the rich old toad."
The Winchester men chuckled in unison and sat down on the benches and chairs, propping up their legs on the balustrade.
"Did Laura meet June yet?" Dean asked.
"Yup, that's when I left."
Upon Sam's enquiring look, Dean explained: "Laura is Lisa's older sister."
"And nowhere near as cool as June." Ben supplied. "Even Mom can't stand her."
"Older siblings, what can you do," Sam grinned, which earned him a punch to his side from Dean. "You'd be dead meat if it weren't for me, dude."
"So how long do you figure it takes for June to psychologically break Laura down?" Dean mused.
"Ten minutes," Ben replied, "Just long enough for her to realize what a pain in the ass Laura is."
"I'll give it eight."
"Taking her current emotional instability into consideration, I'll give her seven." Sam frowned. "You think I should go and maybe try to keep June from starting a massacre in there?"
"No," Dean and Ben replied simultaneously.
Precisely seven minutes later, a hysterical Laura left the party, husband and kids tagging along. The three Winchesters watched them leave and clonked their drinks together. "To June."
A little while later, June appeared, the faint moonlight illuminating her golden curls. "Bailing on your lovely family, really, Dean? What happened to the gentlemen of this world?"
"I am with my family." Dean replied with feigned indignation.
"True," June narrowed her eyes at Sam, "As for you; how dare you leave me in that pit of old, grousing dragons all by myself?"
"Hormones," Sam grumbled under his breath to Dean, who nearly choked on his beer. To June, Sam said: "You never made the impression of a helpless princess, love. I'm sure you could handle yourself."
June huffed, sat on Sam's lap and already reached for his beer when she stopped. If she really was pregnant, she shouldn't drink – the fact she was that considerate about a baby she didn't even know if she had worried her. What if this was her seventh sense kicking in?
"Damn straight I can, still, that don't mean I should have to." June looked at Ben, "No offence, Ben, but your other aunt is a bitch."
June glared at Dean. "Shut up or I'll bust out a whole other level of cussing."
Sam and Ben laughed, and even Dean couldn't suppress a smile.
"Besides, Dean, nice try on the conscientious, virtuous father, but I somehow sincerely doubt you keep your language in check all the time."
"Speaking of keeping one's tongue in check…" Sam started and Dean finished: "Thanks for getting rid of Laura. What'd you say to her?"
Sam closed his eyes, worried of what was to come. June just shrugged and said: "Nothing, really. After asking Lisa for permission to be honest, though, which she readily gave, I may have made some observations about Laura's incapability as a co-hostess and that she would never worm her way to the old lady's inheritance by the way of puke-invoking sucking up. Oh, and I may have made some remark about her marriage going down the drain because of her obsessive-compulsive disorder, upon which she snapped something about me being an impertinent slut, to which I allowed myself reply that my boyfriend at least wasn't flirting with my cousin in front of my own eyes, and that maybe she should look closer to home in regards to impertinence. That was it, though."
Dean and Ben laughed. "Wonderful."
Sam shook his head and groaned: "June…"
"What? I even asked for permission this time."
He just sighed and rested his hand on her waist. There was only so much he could do, and if he was honest, he didn't even want June to change any further.
June meanwhile tried not thinking of how Sam's hand was close to where their child might be growing inside of her. That thought was intimidating, so completely new and unlike anything she ever had to deal with before.
Lisa joined them and mercifully kept her from worrying about it further. "Thank you, June. That was long overdue."
The younger woman smiled sincerely. "You're welcome."
"It's even worth having to listen to my parents' rant tomorrow… Laura's always been their favourite," Lisa sighed and sat down next to Dean, who kissed her forehead and put his arm around her. He knew he was part of the reason why Lisa wasn't their favourite; he wasn't exactly a guy parents wanted for their daughter. Lisa had assured him every time that he had nothing to do with it, that Laura had always been preferred, ever since they were kids.
"Yeah, well, some parents bestow their affection in a strange way," June just said, and Sam felt her tense on his lap.
Great, bringing up mother issues, when June herself was worried of becoming one.
Sam kissed her temple and wondered if June would ever heal from that trauma of having her own mother damn her, trample on her life before she'd even been born. If Fiona Hallberg wasn't already dead, Sam would haven taken care of changing that the second he'd had gotten his soul back.
"I've gotta go to the bathroom," June said curtly and was gone before Sam could hold her back.
"Her parents the same?" Lisa asked quietly.
"Worse," Sam sighed. "A lot worse."
"Is that why she never speaks about them?"
"Not much to say other than what you already know. Her mother died when she was five, her father and brother when she was eighteen, plane crash." Or so went the official version. June had begged Sam not to reveal the truth to anyone, wanting to leave it all behind her for good and not have anyone pity her. So he'd promised her to stick to the 'official version', so had Dean.
Lisa understood enough of the hunting world to know there was something else, but she didn't think it her business to ask.
A couple of minutes later, June returned, and in the dim light of the porch lamp, nobody saw through her faked composure. "A couple of the guests are leaving, they're looking for you."
"I'll be right there. Don't want them stick around longer than necessary," Lisa jumped up, and Dean unwillingly followed her, knowing it would look weird if he wasn't with her.
"You want some alone time?" Ben asked his aunt and uncle.
June chuckled. "No, Ben, it's okay. Stay. Wouldn't want you to get caught by your Martha Stuart great-aunts."
"Thanks." The boy chuckled.
Sam watched his girlfriend and couldn't help but imagine her as a mother. The mother of his child.
"Family's got to stick together, right?"
"Right." Ben grinned and thought of how his family was the best example for family not being about blood. To him, Dean was his father; he wasn't blood. Sam and June were his aunt and uncle: they weren't blood, either. His biological aunt and his cousins: blood, but not family.
All that was missing, really, was a not-blood equivalent to his blood cousins. Ben was old enough, though, to know better than bringing that up.
After a while of casual talk, Dean and Lisa returned, and Sam quietly said to June: "Come on, love, let's go home."
"We can't leave Lisa and Dean with all the cleaning up-"
"It's no bother, June, you two get home." Lisa quickly threw in. Sam had the sneaky suspicion that she knew well enough why June procrastinated getting home: They'd get certainty about whether she was pregnant or not.
"Really." That sounded more like a command, and June uneasily got up so they could say their goodbyes.
Back in their car, June quietly said: "Don't forget stopping by the drug store on the way home."
Sam refrained from telling her he couldn't have forgotten even if he wanted to. June seemed to be on edge enough already, she surely didn't need him adding to her anxiety. Never had June seemed so vulnerable; never had he needed to be there for her as much as now.
That she allowed him to see that weakness honoured him, and Sam would never make her regret that trust; he wouldn't let her see that he was far from being as calm as he pretended to be for her sake.