"I don't like this," Dean complains to Bobby and Sam as he listens to the sound of Rayan and Alabama moving around upstairs. All three men are crowded around the kitchen table, the oldest Winchester nursing a beer while Sam and Bobby try to help Carson guide a pencil into creating his name.
"Dean, she's going to a bonfire. Not a brothel," Sam sighs as he glances up at his brother in annoyance. "You need to relax."
"Yeah, Uncle Dean," Carson chimes in with a smirk. "Relax."
Dean narrows his eyes at the six-year-old, and he mentally curses himself for teaching the kid how to be so damn cheeky. Carson pays no attention to his uncle's stare, and instead giggles softly and returns his attention to Sam, who is patiently demonstrating the proper techniques to construct an "r."
But Bobby is still studying Dean. "What exactly has you so worked up, son?"
"I just don't think she'll be safe," the oldest Winchester groans as he stands from his seat at the table and begins to pace in the small kitchen. "She's only seventeen and there's still the threat of a demon attack looming over her head. We're being complacent."
A shit-eating grin plays across Bobby's tired features. "Complacent, Dean? We using big words now?"
"Oh shut up," Dean growls, throwing a middle finger up at the old man quickly.
Sam throws a piece of wadded up paper at his brother, bitch face present in full force. "There's a kid in the room, Dean! Watch it."
Dean only waves a hand in Carson's direction in a sad excuse for an apology, earning a sigh from Sam who promptly turns towards his son and explains every reason not to use that particular hand gesture like his idiot uncle.
"All right Dean," Bobby says from his own chair. "Now that we have the bull excuses out of the way, let's get to the real reason. You're just mad that in less than an hour, there will be a teenage boy on the doorstep coming to pick up your little girl."
"No," Dean scoffs in denial, even though it's obvious to anyone in the room that the oldest Winchester is lying through his teeth. And Bobby lets Dean know that he's not fooling anyone. "Okay, so maybe that is the reason. But can you blame me? Look at what happened last time she was asked out!"
"You have got to let her grow up a little bit, boy," Bobby sighs as he rubs a hand over his face. "She's not five years old anymore."
"I just don't want her to get hurt."
Sam glances up from Carson's sloppy letters and looks at his brother. "None of us want Ray to get hurt, man. But we can't keep her in a little bubble for the rest of her life either. It doesn't work that way."
The kitchen door bursts open at that moment, revealing Lucas and Andy, both of whom have grease stains on their hands and lower arms.
"Mr. Martin can officially change a tire!" Lucas exclaims proudly as he claps Andy on the back. "Just be glad we didn't try it out on the Impala."
Andy rolls his eyes and walks towards the kitchen sink. "The Impala would have been fine. There wasn't even a mark left on the Chevelle. Now, I want to hear more about this discussion about Ray that we walked in on."
"There is no discussion," Dean complains. "I just don't think this bonfire is a good idea."
"Actually, I don't either," Lucas agrees, plopping down in a chair and taking a swig from the oldest Winchester's abandoned beer bottle. "I think she should have a chaperone or something."
"I will not be taking a chaperone!"
The loud exclamation echoes throughout the kitchen, and all eyes turn towards the entryway where Rayan and Alabama are standing with their arms crossed. Both Dean and Lucas have enough decency to look mildly ashamed, but it's Andy that speaks up first.
"You look beautiful, Ray," he says as he dries of his freshly clean hands and walks over to his best friend, wrapping her in a gentle hug. "You're going to knock Nick off his feet."
Rayan doesn't think she's dressed much different than she normally is. Just a black tank top underneath her leather jacket with a worn pair of jeans. But there must be something different, if the way everyone in the room is looking at her stands as something to go by.
"Okay, stop looking at me like that! It's creepy. Now I'm going on this date and that's final." Rayan demands as she maneuvers her way around the kitchen. She grabs a glass and fills it with water just before grabbing a pill bottle sitting on the counter. Then she makes her way towards Bobby. "Here Gramps, it's time for your meds."
"This stuff doesn't do any good," Bobby complains as he swallows down the three capsules. "And it tastes like horse-"
"It does help, Grumpy, and you know it," Rayan laughs as she bends down and plants a kiss on her grandfather's cheek. "Now, if we're all done debating my social choices, it's time to lay down some ground rules."
"Ground rules?" Deans asks with a raised eyebrow. "Last time I checked, I was the father and you were the child. I'm pretty sure I get to lay down the ground rules."
"When it comes to my safety you have almost full control," Rayan agrees with a nod of her head. "But when it comes to how you're going to act when Nick gets here, you don't have a choice."
There is a staring match between father and daughter for a moment, where the silence stretches on with all the other occupants in the room watching. And the stare off probably could have lasted all night between the two most stubborn of the Winchesters, but a car horn blares from the driveway outside making everyone jump.
"Oh, I bet that's Nick. I'd better go." Rayan takes a step forward and places a kiss on her father's cheek before making her way out of the kitchen. "I'll see you when I get home!"
"Wait, wait, wait," Dean interrupts, following his daughter towards the front of the house. "He's not even going to come to the door? Only douche bags honk the horn and make the girl walk out to his car."
"Dad, this is the twenty-first century in which chivalry is dead."
"It is not!" Dean protests loudly. When Rayan just stares back at him expectantly, he sighs and shakes his head back and forth. "Be home by eleven thirty, make sure you have your Colt on you, and for the love of God be careful."
"I will be, Daddy," Rayan agrees as she wraps her arms around her father's midsection in a hug. "I love you."
"Love you too, short stuff."
Dean watches as Rayan bounds out the front door and into the large and way-too-expensive SUV sitting in the driveway. He watches his daughter climb into the front seat and buckle before the vehicle pulls away from the house. He even watches until he can't see the red taillights down the road anymore.
"She's just going on a date, Papa Winchester," Alabama says from behind Dean, startling him slightly.
"But why's she going with that guy?" Dean asks in disgust. "He didn't even come to the door. I thought you said this Nick Mills was a good guy?"
"I didn't say he was a good guy," Alabama clarifies with a smile. "I just said he wasn't Billy Northman."
For some reason, that admission doesn't make Dean feel any better.