Eavesdropping

Written for the prompt : Supernatural; John + wee!Dean + wee!Sam; Dean tells Sam everything he remembers about their mother, John overhears

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Eavesdropping

John could hear the murmur of voices from the other room. He looked down at his watch and frowned, the boys were supposed to be asleep, not chatting the night away. It was hard though to know what line to take with them. Dean . . . He had been worried about Dean, over the course of the last week, his son who was quiet at the best of times had sunk into near silence again.

He remembered the bouncing, excitable chatterbox his eldest son used to be, always asking questions, always full of things to say about what he'd been doing with his Mom during the day and what Baby Sammy had been doing. It was as if Mary took that part of Dean with her when she died. For months, Dean had barely uttered a sound and definitely nothing even remotely resembling a conversation, but then gradually Dean had come back out of his shell. He would talk, ask questions or recount things he'd done with Bobby or Jim, but there was an earnestness to his words now and the least little upset would have him sinking down into silence again.

Everything had changed, John could remember the little boy who would run to the top of the porch steps and hurl himself into his arms as he came home from work; the little boy who would run round and round the garden laughing as he chased a butterfly or ran back and forth from whatever he was doing to tell his Momma about it before racing back to continue. Dean rarely played anymore or rather the games he played were all centered around Sammy and what Sammy wanted to do or play, so Dean would sit and stack blocks for hour after hour and watch with a fond smile as his brother would knock them down laughing.

Now instead of running and hurling himself into John's arms, Dean would sidle along and look anxiously up at him before curling his fingers over the top of John's waistband as if to hold on and keep him close. If John turned and opened his arms, Dean would clamber in for a hug, clinging desperately like a limpet as if expecting it all to be torn away from him.

At the sound of an "Oooh!" from the room next door that sounded like Sammy, he was reminded again of how he still hadn't worked out why his two boys were up so late and talking. He stood wearily and moved out into the hallway, pausing beside the door, out of sight to listen.

". . . and she had beautiful long golden hair, Sammy. She always looked just perfect and she was kind and she always had time to talk and to sing and . . ." John wondered what story Dean was telling his brother now, probably one Mary had read to him when he was younger. She'd had such a way of bringing stories to life in his son's imagination. John remembered watching them as Mary would regale him with a fairy story, hands moving and face smiling as she wove the pictures, his eyes wide and enraptured.

Sam brought him back to the present, "Tell me, Dean, tell me more. Did she play with you? Did she? What else did she do?"

John couldn't fail to miss the 'play with you'. Was Dean making up stories with himself as a character? His breath caught as he heard Dean's next words.

"Yes, Momma played with me; she played the games I play with you. She used to play with you too, she loved you, Sammy. She used to say that she loved us more than the sun and the moon and the stars. That's a way lot of loving, Sammy. She used to sing. She sang the nursery rhymes and stuff, but she sang good stuff too, like the songs Daddy's got in the car."

The memories that Dean was retelling rushed in and John wiped a tear from his eye, swallowing repeatedly to try and keep back the welling emotions.

"It's time to go to sleep though, Sammy. Momma's watching you. She'd want you to go to sleep now so that you can have a good birthday tomorrow and if you're asleep, you'll get your present from Momma."

The words sent panic through John; he'd barely remembered to get a present at all. Everything had been so difficult these past few weeks; it was only Dean talking to him quietly about when Sammy's birthday was a couple of days before that had spurred him into action in time. His son had known his little brother's birthday was soon but hadn't been sure when, had tried to tie it in with other things he knew. Thank goodness Dean had asked; it wasn't like John would have meant to ignore it, but he'd been so wrapped up in everything else he had nearly forgotten. What was Dean expecting Sam to get from Mary?

"You know Sammy that Momma's always watching over you and keeping you safe, just like Daddy and me too. She's with the angels now and she makes them watch you too. But on your birthday, because it's so special, she makes the angels bring her here while you're sleeping, but only while you're sleeping because we're not allowed to see her anymore. She comes and she puts a kiss right here." John peeked round the door and saw Dean press his fingers to the center of his brother's forehead. "She kisses you and fills you up with all her love and promises to love you forever, but only if you're asleep."

John saw as Sam quickly shuffled to lie back down in bed and curl in next to his brother with his eyes closed. He knew well enough that Sam would take a matter of moments to be sound asleep, particularly as Dean was sifting his hand through his brother's hair gently. Sam would be fine, but a look at Dean showed how much he was hurting. John waited a few minutes longer until he was sure Sam was asleep before entering the room and sitting down quietly, draping an arm round his eldest to pull him closer and pressing a kiss to the top of his head.

"That was lovely, Deano," he said quietly. "It's good to tell Sammy those stories." John could feel the tension of held back emotion in his son's body, felt the tremor of Dean struggling to hold back tears and lifted his son to sit on his lap, wrapping him in a hug. "Your Momma loved you both so much and she is with the angels, sweetheart, watching down on you and me and Sammy all the time and I bet she does come down and kiss you and your brother when you're sleeping, just like you said. Knowing your Momma, I bet she bullies those angels into letting her come a whole lot more often than just your birthdays too."

John held on tight as Dean let the tears flow, trying not to feel like he'd failed his family again. Dean needed to talk about Mary every bit as much as Sam needed to know he'd been loved by the mother he would never remember. Dean needed to talk about her without the layers of guilt that built up as he tried never to mention her in front of his father and John silently promised to try and be better to try and help his son through this hurt and loss no matter how much he ached with loss as he did so.

"Momma loved us all, right Daddy?" Dean asked, curled in tight, head buried in the crook of his father's neck.

"She loved us all, Dean. Her heart was so big and it was full, full just of love for you and me and Sammy. That isn't ever going to change."