Epilogue: The Other War Zone
Delayna pondered on whether to attack left wing, being her father, or right wing, being her mother, or going full frontal. Pouting her lips, the little girl debated whether she should get her siblings for support on mission 'tackling the parents', but decided she was more than capable of achieving it herself.
So that nobody could later say she was playing favourites, Delayna chose battle plan 'full frontal' and jumped onto her parents' bed, right in the middle, making sure to let both of them know she was here.
"Little terrorist," Her mother just mumbled as she pulled her youngest into her arm without opening her eyes.
"That's politically incorrect!"
"It would only be if I said every blonde little girl was a terrorist. Since I addressed you personally, it might be offensive, but not politically incorrect," June replied, resting her head on Sam's shoulder.
"Girls, please," Sam groaned. Not even awake for ten seconds and his wife and youngest daughter were already sussing out rhetorical details. He was slowly starting to understand the couples opting for 'designer babies', choosing which attributes their child should have; June's attitude was something he most certainly wouldn't have thrown into the mix had he had the choice.
Alright, so maybe that wasn't true…
"What?" Came the simultaneous reply from wife and daughter.
… then again, maybe it was.
"You two are welcome to discuss heartily whenever you want, just not in the morning. Especially not a Sunday morning."
June finally opened her eyes and looked at Delayna, who returned her mother's glacier stare with a blue-green of her own. Simultaneously, they smiled, and June gave a barely noticeable nod, upon which Dee climbed onto her father's chest and arms akimbo as she looked down to him reproachfully. "You ought to go to bed earlier, Dad."
"Tell your mother that."
"But you're the one being all grumpy!"
June failed miserably at stifling a laughter, which earned her a tweak in the side from her husband. "What? Dee's right." June smirked and kissed Sam deeply, knowing he couldn't defend himself, not in front of their daughter. After all, it really was June's fault it had gotten late last night… not that Sam had complained then.
"Can we get a dog?"
"No," Sam and June replied in unison.
"Because it might turn out being a skinwalker."
Dee screwed up her nose. "Dad can just check beforehand."
"Okay, that leaves the worse case, that being that it really is a normal dog, which in turn means that we have to go out to walk the dog three times a day."
Sam listened to June and Dee discussing and willed himself not to look at his daughter, knowing he'd fall for her cursed puppy dog look if he did, no pun intended.
While Sophia and Aidan could pull the puppy eyes with anyone, Dee wasn't as gifted, since she'd inherited June's challenging intensity in her look – but being the smart girl she was, Delayna had soon figured out how she could pull the puppy thing and with who: Sam. No matter what trouble she'd caused, her Dad couldn't be mad at her when she looked at him like only a daughter could look at her father.
"But if we had a house with a garden, then the dog could just roam the garden and…"
"Dee, sweetie. We're not getting a dog and we're not getting a house."
"Because a house doesn't have a pool."
Dee narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "We could just build one. Or buy a house that has a pool."
"Yes, we could, but no, we won't, because I won't start behaving like a millionairess now when I've successfully avoided it all my life."
"Well, almost all your life," Sam pointed out. "And it's not like this apartment is exactly cheap."
June shot him a fiery glare, but not of the sexual kind, but rather of the 'this will have an aftermath, believe me' kind.
"We're going to get a house?" Sophia danced in, Aidan trailing behind. The twins joined the family tea party in bed and cuddled up to their parents. June silently thanked Sam for his tip to pull on a shirt last night…
"Is there a conspiracy going on here that I missed?"
Delayna beamed. "That's kind of the point of a conspiracy…"
"… that those who it's against don't know about it." Aidan finished.
"Tough luck, sweeties, because if those that are conspired against have the whip hand, or more specifically own the bank accounts, the conspirators bite the dust."
Sam groaned, pulled a pillow over his head and wondered if other fathers have to deal with the same issues Sunday mornings or if it was just his Winchester luck. He rooted for the latter.
"If, however, the conspirators outnumber those who are conspired against, then those who are conspired against will eventually falter."
"We don't live in a democracy. Last name Winchester means anarchy."
"Then how come you and Dad get to decide? If there's nobody ruling, then you two shouldn't, either."
"Your Dad and I are the natural exception."
"Because I carried you around for nine months and suffered through labour, mood swings and swollen feet."
"Okay," Dee admitted, "But what about Dad?"
"I had to endure your mother for nine months when she was even moodier than usual." Came the muffled reply as Sam pulled the pillow from his face again. Just to have June hit him with hers.
Aidan, Sophia and Delayna looked at each other: Were their parents seriously starting a pillow fight?
In silent consensus, the siblings retreated, leaving their parents romping the sheets, to get ammunition.
Three minutes later, five Winchesters had turned the master bedroom into a war zone.
"Why isn't Dad picking me up?"
"Nice to see you, too, Dee," June arched an eyebrow, crouched down to her youngest and placed a kiss on the top of her head.
"I didn't say it was nice to see you."
"Yeah, Dee, that's why what I said is called irony."
"Oh, right. Well, Ms Kepler said irony could be hurtful."
"And I say it's essential and entertaining."
"See, that's what I told Ms Kepler, too, when I used irony on Anne the other day. Not my fault she didn't get it and busted out crying."
June sighed, torn between reprimanding her daughter and taking pride in how much like her she was. "Well. It certainly isn't your fault Anne's a crybaby. You should always speak your mind, Dee, no matter what others think of it."
Delayna took June's hand and skipped down the pavement to the parked Impala. "Is that what you do, Mommy?"
"Yes. But you have to bear the consequences of what you say, too, so don't forget that part when you speak your mind."
"Okay," Dee nodded solemnly. "Can I sit up front?"
"Until we fetch your brother and sister, yes." June opened the door for the youngest Winchester and then rounded the car to get in on the other side.
"Mom, where's Dad?"
"A case came up this morning after he dropped you off." June hadn't understood the urgency of it, but seeing as it's been two weeks since Sam had taken a case, she didn't argue. Sam and Dean had reduced the amount of cases they took to a much smaller number, but you couldn't keep a Winchester from hunting for good. "So, you, Aidan and Sophia will have to hang around the gallery until I can finish up at work, alright?"
"No problem. Can we go out for dinner tonight?"
"Of course, sweetie. Wouldn't want you to suffer from my cooking." June parked the car in front of the twins' elementary school. "You want to wait in the car or come along?"
"I'll wait here with the radio," Dee beamed.
"Alright. Don't hotwire the car."
"Uncle Dean wouldn't teach me that yet," Delayna pouted.
"Good. Otherwise I'd have to have a serious word with him."
"But he said he would as soon as I turned old enough to drive."
June rolled her eyes; Dean's definition of 'old enough to drive' certainly wasn't the legal age of 16, but rather 10 or something of that sort. "As long as you hotwire your uncle's car, that's fine."
"Mommy? Can we go to India?"
June looked up from her magazine at Sophia. "India? Where'd that come from?"
"I saw a report on TV the other day, and I really want to go there. Plus, we never really had a real vacation, and I thought it'd be nice to get out of country. A family vacation?"
June shot a look across the table at Sam, who shrugged his broad shoulders. "Not helping, Sam."
Her husband smiled devilishly and turned to Sophia. "Okay. I think that's a great idea, Soph."
Had the table been any smaller, June would have kicked Sam; but her legs weren't that long. Now she had to admit she'd lost – Sam would get to experience her avenging wrath for that one. "Your Dad meant to say that we would think about it."
"Okay. Well, Lufthansa has a special offer for the Easter holiday, which would have the advantage of it being not too hot in India yet, and it'd be before the monsoon time, too. If we go then we ought to take care of the Visa now, otherwise it'll get too late. But, if we would go during the Summer holiday, we would have more time and could maybe do a stop-over in Egypt…"
June rested her head in her hands and let out a groan. "Okay, okay, I surrender. Your Dad and I will discuss the details this week. Satisfied?"
Sophia beamed. "Absolutely." She came over to June and wrapped her arms around her mother. "Thanks, Mom." Rounding the table, Sophia hugged her father, too, before she took off again.
"None of my genes lost on her," June mumbled.
"What do you mean?"
June looked at Sam. "Seriously?"
He raised his eyebrows questioningly.
"The girl watches reports in her spare time, and instead of playing games on the computer like kids should, she looks up flights and monsoon periods and freaking Visa! That geeky streak is not me!"
Sam chuckled and shook his head. "Charming, June. But hey, it's only fair."
"How? Two kids come after you, but only one after me! I'm outnumbered!"
"Are you saying we should have another child?"
June grumbled something ineligible. "No, I'm saying that one of our kids should at least have a healthy mix of both of us."
"Life's tough, sweetheart. Besides, one of you is about as stressful as ten of me, so technically, I'm the outnumbered one."
June jumped onto the table, crawled across it and onto Sam's lap, straddling him. "Are you saying I'm complicated?"
"Fussy, unnerving, difficult, insatiable, lusty… whatever floats your boat." Sam hoisted her up onto the table. "And I utterly and completely love you for it."
"Good, then problem solved. Mind locking the door first?"
"Man, these South Dakota roads get to me everytime," June groaned as she climbed out of the rental car. After mostly driving in city traffic, bumpy highways were like shock therapy to her. Especially in winter – snow and ice included.
"Wimp," Sam commented as he got out of the driver's side.
"Tyrant." June shot back automatically, "Tell me again why we couldn't go with my idea of just celebrating Christmas in some more Southern location?"
"We're in South Dakota, where's the problem?"
"In the state."
"Behave." Sam ordered as he followed their kids and marched towards the door.
"Don't talk to me as if I were a dog."
"You bitch enough to be one."
June bent down, formed a snow ball, aimed and hit Sam's back. "Attacking from behind, how low."
"Everything's low to you, Giganto." June challenged.
"I never heard you complain about my size."
"Didn't want to hurt your sensitive feelings."
Next thing June knew she was on the ground squealing and wrestling her husband in the snow.
The door opened and Bobby and Dean stepped out. "Hi Grandpa! Hi Uncle Dean!" The siblings chimed and hugged them.
"Hey, trouble," Dean grinned and lifted up his youngest niece. Delayna wrapped her arms around her uncle's neck and giggled at his nickname of her.
"Where'd you leave your parents?" Bobby asked as he ruffled through Aidan's hair. Just then, Dean and Bobby noticed the romping couple in the snow. "They aren't seriously…" Two grown ups, settling a disagreement with a childish brawl in the snow.
"Snow ball fight! I want in!" Dean set Dee down, who darted off together with her uncle to join in the fun.
Make that three grown ups.
Bobby shook his head: Not here two minutes and already this family was driving him crazy – the good kind of crazy.
Aidan and Sophia looked at each other, then turned on their heel and raced down the porch stairs.
"Ha!" June let out a triumphant cry as she straddled Sam's chest, only to find herself being tackled to the ground the next second. Freaking hunters and their chiselled bodies.
Sam got distracted from giving his wife a deserved snow soaping by a snow ball meeting his shoulder. June used the opportunity Dee had given her to wiggle out from Sam's grip and meet up with her youngest. "Nice throw, sweetie."
"She's got Winchester aim alright," Dean grinned.
"Oh, so now you're teaming up with my wife behind my back?" Sam shook snow out of his hair.
"She makes a prettier snow queen than you do, Sammy."
Sam countered that with a snow ball at his brother, who returned the favour and then ducked behind one of the car wreckages.
Ten minutes later, six Winchesters had turned the salvage yard into a war zone with indefinable fronts; one minute, Sam and June charged at Dean and the twins, the next, Sam turned on June and snow ended up sliding down her shirt. "Perverted son of a bitch!"
"Not in front of the kids, dearest wife."
"I'll just tell them to close their eyes when I give you your deserved spanking."
"That form of voyeurism is just messed up."
"Fine, we'll just start at the swinger club then."
"No. I'm not sharing." Sam growled and wrapped his arms around June's snow-drenched body, using the short moment of ceasefire to leave a love bite on her neck.
"Smooch later, you two." Dean complained. "A snow ball fight shouldn't be rated NC-17. Behave."
June calmly bent down, formed a very nice round snow ball and let her brother-in-law know just what she thought of his remark.
When Carmen and Ben stormed out and joined, the Winchester women united against the men, leaving Bobby and Lisa standing on the porch, having serious doubts about their sanity when they decided to be part of this family.
Normal families started off the Christmas holidays with a 'Hey, how are you? What's new? Let's have a glass of eggnog.'. Not the Winchesters; they had to start a snow war.
"Yes!" Came the triumphant cry from behind a rusty Dodge Charger. Lisa recognized June's voice. "Team Double X-Chromosome wins!"
"You cheated!" Ben complained, wiping snow from his face.
Ben shook his head at his aunt smilingly. Nonetheless, he, Dean, Sam and Aidan accepted their defeat; faced with four belligerent Winchester girls, there wasn't much else they could really do.
"How old are you again?" Lisa asked good-naturedly when her husband eventually decided to retreat into the warmth of the house, Carmen trailing along.
"I'm young at heart." Dean kissed her and disappeared in the house.
"Hey, Lisa," June beamed, wiping what was left of her mascara from her eyes. "I'll hug you later, kind of wet at the moment."
"Sure we can make use of that…" Sam mumbled into her ear, then greeted Lisa before pushing June inside and up the stairs to their assigned guest room.
"We should take care of the kids first…" June attempted a protest as Sam's impatient but at the same time teasingly gentle hands undressed her.
"Pretty sure they'll be as fussy in ten minutes as they are now…"
"As if you would only last ten minutes."
"Fair enough. Might want to fetch fresh clothes from the car first, though…"
As if on command, Dean's voice sounded from through the locked door: "Hey, you two turtledoves, I hope you got me some awesome presents, because I am the greatest brother in the whole world. That'd be brother-in-law to you, June, and seeing you got the millions, maybe that's the more important position."
Sam and June rolled their eyes in unison.
"Anyways, your luggage's here."
"I knew there was a reason I love you!" June cried.
"Oh, don't feel flattered, princess, I did it for your kids. So they won't have to experience the scarring image of their parents-"
"Bye, Dean." Sam and June simultaneously called.
"Remember these walls ain't soundproof, just FYI."
After Dean's footsteps had disappeared, June crushed her lips on Sam's and pushed his wet shirt down his muscular arms, marvelling at his perfect chisel-chest, and kissed his tattoo. "I'm really, really, longing for a shower now."
"That won't clean your dirty mind, either," Sam countered.
"Admit you'd be disappointed if it would."
"Completely," He growled and hoisted her up, so that June wrapped her legs around his waist and let him carry her into the adjoining bathroom.
"Impressive," She admitted.
"Stop treating me like a creaky old man."
"Well, depending on one's perspective, you are old."
"Prove it to me," June breathed and dug her nails into Sam's back as he pushed her against the tiled wall.
Hot water rained down on them, making their cold bodies prickle and their skin slippery. Sam dug his fingers into June's firm flesh as he held her up against the wall, drawing a longing moan from her wet lips. He caught them between his, his tongue pushing against hers as he thrust into her. Even after ten years of screwing her, every time he did felt thrilling and passionate – and he did mean every single time.
"Okay," June admitted breathlessly as she turned off the water twenty minutes later. "Definitely not old. Very potent. Not that I ever had any doubts. Still, next check-up scheduled for tonight."
"I'm doing you a favour, Sam; I'm keeping you young."
"Last time I checked, strained nerves aren't prolonging your life expectancy."
Sadly, June didn't have a snow ball at the ready. She quickly considered a hairbrush, but decided it wasn't classy enough. So she went for the good old punch instead, which Sam caught mid-air and instead pulled her in for a long deep kiss.
"You still haven't told me how you paid for my engagement ring."
"It was legal."
"Well that does narrow it down," June raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"Wouldn't want to base my marriage on fraud."
"What'd you base it on, then?"
Sam just shook his head and resumed their kissing. With the illegal options apparently being out, June wasn't left with much more, but faced with the alternative being making out with her husband, she dropped the topic. She'd have all her life to hammer him about it.
"Winchesters and their sex drive," Lisa grumbled as she set the table, rolling her eyes upward where no-doubtedly, June and Sam were having a rather intimate moment.
"What's a sex drive?" Sophia suddenly appeared beside her, looking up to her with intelligent hazel eyes.
"It's one of those words adults will never explain to you because it's something embarrassing," Delayna chimed as she appeared at her sister's side.
"Well, in times of internet, that's just silly. Not like we couldn't look it up there."
Lisa made a mental note to warn June to enable a filter for her internet access – on second thought, maybe she should tell Sam, seeing as June wasn't on a first name basis with technological devices of any kind.
"June, Sam, would you get dressed and down here!" Dean called up the stairs.
"Was that a real or rhetorical question?" June shot back.
"Does she ever change?" Ben asked his mother as he carried in the beer supply from the basement.
"Not in this life. Probably not even the next."
"Technically, this is her next life. The woman can't even shut up when she's dead." Ben grinned. "Always has to get back for one more."
"Anything we can help with or did we wait long enough?" June beamed.
"Congrats, Aunt, your timing's perfect as always; nothing left to do but eat."
"You wouldn't want Mom's help in the kitchen, anyways," Dee stated matter-of-factly.
"The moment you cook better than me, sweetheart, you're allowed to make witty remarks about it. Not sooner."
"I made muffins with Dad the other day. They were even edible. So I already have permission to make witty remarks."
"Alright, let me rephrase it, then: The moment I see with my own two eyes that you're better behind the hearth than I am, you're allowed to make witty remarks."
"You got fire insurance, right?" Dean arched an eyebrow at Sam.
"Might want to check up on that beforehand," He nodded.
"Alright, alright, quiet down everyone," Bobby called. "Since none of us is one for cheesy words: Merry Christmas and dig in."
Everyone chuckled and read the real meaning behind those simple words: It was the most wonderful Christmas any one of them had ever had.
June didn't spend one second on the memories of luxurious Christmas dinners and fancy galas, the meaningless gifts mostly consisting of cheques with lots of money but no heart.
Sam and Dean loved every moment of being together for Christmas like they'd been most of their lives, but now, instead of waiting for their father to maybe be home on time, they had families of their own. It was finally perfect.
Aidan, Sophia, Delayna and Carmen would later in life realize that it were exactly these moments that made their family so special and the bond between them all unique and inseparable. Gifts lost their glamour sooner or later, but family would remain.
Bobby could finally make his peace with his past; Christmas was no longer a holiday that tore and tugged at his wounds, at his memories of Christmases spent with his wife Karen, or how he'd destroyed Rufus' life in letting the love of his life get killed in Omaha. He didn't miss that he had no children of his own biologically; he had this crazy bunch, and it was better than anything anyone could wish for.
Lisa and Ben were glad Sam had made Dean promise before he went to hell to go live with them; and even more glad Dean had come back after they'd broken up. They wouldn't want to miss being a part of this warped family for anything in the world.
After years or in some cases lifetimes of suffering and losses, they all now had what they had wanted and deserved: A family and peace.
"Dad, is there such a thing as a werecat?"
Sam looked at his youngest. "Yes."
"Can we get one?"
Well, the Winchester version of peace.
So that's it. =)
Thank you all so much for reading, reviewing, favoriting and alerting 'Peace Is In The Eye Of The Beholder'. I hope you all enjoyed it. =)
It's been a great pleasure to hear from you,
I would have enough ideas for a sequel, but it's up to you whether I'll write it. It'd have a focus on Sam as a father and all the trouble family can have, especially when June's involved and the last name's Winchester. ;) It'd show the kids through various ages.
So if you would be interested in that, have ideas for it yourself or anything else at all, please PM me or leave a comment in the review box! =)
I would wish you a Happy Hiatus, but oxymorons were never my thing. ;)
So until the next story, and thanks again. =)