Title: Unrelated, 9/9
Art by: beelikej
Pairing: John/Mary, John/Dean
Total Word Count: 5079
Warnings: Explicit slash
Disclaimer: If only John and Dean were mine... *sigh*
A/N: See all the great art, along with all my other stories on my LJ (john-n-dean dot livejournal dot com). Dean is not a Winchester in this story.
"Thanks for doin' this for me, Sammy."
Sam sighed. He had long since given up trying to get his father to stop calling him Sammy, but it still annoyed him sometimes. "You sure about this?"
"We've been together for four years. You think it's fair that if somethin' happened to me, he'd have no say in the matter?"
"Why don't the two of you just go to a gay marriage state and get married?"
"We don't need to."
"You don't believe in gay marriage, do you?" Sam asked incredulously.
"Name one thing that marriage would give us that this paperwork doesn't?"
Sam shrugged. "Nothin' I guess. Except maybe a reason to have a big party."
"Exactly. Besides, who needs a reason to have a party with Dean around? Just put him in a room full of people and let him go. Instant party. So what's your point, kiddo?"
"What about Dean? Maybe he doesn't feel the same way."
"He'd do it if I wanted to, but Dean doesn't care about that type of shit. Besides, marriage is to protect women and children. Neither one of us is the former and we're not plannin' on havin' any of the latter."
Sam laughed and shook his head. "You are a complete paradox, Dad."
"I live to perplex you, Sammy."
He snorted softly as he closed his briefcase. "The sad part is, I think you're only half joking."
"Why don't you stay a while? We need a witness."
"I don't know."
"I wanna spend some time with my firstborn."
His father seemed to relax completely for the first time, settling back in his seat. Like Sam's agreement to spend some time with him was a relief. It made him feel guilty. He had been neglecting his father lately. He'd been neglecting a lot of things lately. "So… how's everything going? Home, work?"
"Home's fine. Jess is… well. Work's stressful."
"I never subscribed to the idea that work should be stressful."
"You? The Marine?"
"That ain't work, boy… that's service. The whole purpose of service is sacrifice"
"And what I do is service too. Everyone's guaranteed legal representation under the Constitution."
John held up his hands in surrender. "Fair enough. I'm honestly not tryin' to start a fight here, kiddo. I just… I wish you'd take some time to enjoy your life. Lately, it seems all you do is work. That's not good for you or your marriage."
Sam relaxed into his own chair, realizing that he was being overly sensitive. His father had never been tactful and he'd only gotten blunter with age. It had only been recently that he'd come to understand that it was nothing personal. If anything, the fact that John spoke with him so frankly was a sign of affection. The older man usually considered most people too stupid or too foolish to waste the benefit of his counsel on. "Yeah. I've been meaning to take some time, but things keep coming up."
"They always will. Do or do not, son."
Sam snorted softly and frowned in amusement at his father. "What? You're quoting Yoda now?"
"Hey, I can recognize good advice when I hear it. Even if it does come from a three foot tall fictional character. I just don't want you to keep puttin' stuff off, only to look up and realized you've waited too long to do the things that really matter in life. Like havin' kids. All the work you do, most people won't remember you for it when you're dead and gone. But kids and grandkids? They'll always remember."
"Dude… you sound like Mom."
"Great minds. So?"
"Now's not a good time."
"For what? Havin' kids or talkin' to your old man about it?"
"Dad… it's not that simple."
"It's as complicated as you make it. Family is more important than work. More important than anything."
"Didn't work out that way for you and Mom."
"That's why we stayed together as long as we did though. If it didn't mean so much to us, we would've thrown that towel in a long time before we did. You two just need to go for it… have kids now before you can't. You won't regret it. I know I don't. Besides, what the hell is the use of havin' six kids if only two of you are going to give us grandkids?"
"Maybe we don't want to have kids."
"Why would you not want to have kids? That's all you two could talk about a couple years ago."
"In order to have kids, you actually have to have sex, Dad."
"Oh… oh." John cleared his throat and suddenly found the table incredibly interesting. "Wow. Are you… are you having… performance problems?"
"Performance problems?" Sam repeated incredulously. "Are you asking me if I'm impotent?"
"There's nothin' to be ashamed of, Sammy. It's just… somethin' that happens sometimes. It could just be stress. Maybe the two of you just need to get away. Go somewhere romantic, somewhere you can relax. No cell phones, no email, no computers, no pressure. Just let things happen naturally."
Sam sighed and rubbed his temple. "It's not stress, Dad."
"What? You think it's medical?"
"No… Dad, there's nothing wrong with my performance, okay?"
Suddenly John was looking at him again, a slightly confused expression on his face. Sam could practically see the wheels turning in his father's head and he suddenly realized that he'd said too damn much. "If you're not havin' sex with your wife then how do you know… Oh, Sammy."
"Oh, shit," Sam breathed out as he realized he'd given away far more than he should have. He should have made his escape when he had the chance.
John was pinning him with an intense glare and Sam found it hard to maintain eye contact, his heart in his throat. He argued with his father, sure, but he never wanted John to look at him like that. "Tell me you're not fuckin' around on your wife, Sam."
Sam finally looked away, unable to stand it any longer. He suddenly felt like he was four years old again. "Dad… I didn't… it's not my fault, okay?"
"You're havin' an affair and it's not your fault? On what planet does that make sense?"
"I had to beg for sex from my own wife. It was like trying to get into fuckin' Fort Knox, Dad. Do you have any idea how humiliating that is?"
"Sam… when a woman won't have sex with you, something is seriously wrong with the relationship. You either work it out or you walk away. But what you do not do is fuck somebody else behind her back!"
Sam stood up and paced to the wall. He rubbed his face, tried to clear his mind. Finally, he turned to face his father. "You think I don't feel like shit, Dad? That I don't look at myself in the mirror and… I don't even know who I am anymore."
"You're still my kid. And you can still make this right."
"You wanna respect the guy you see in the mirror again? You need to either find a way to make your marriage work, or let Jess go. You can't keep doing this to her or to yourself."
"You make it sound so easy."
"Easy?" John snorted. "It'll be anything but, whichever way things end up. any real relationship, is work on a good day. But when it's been fractured and neglected it's even harder. You'll have to swallow your pride. And ending things… even when you got somebody else, that's like… I can't even describe what that's like. Even when you do everything you can and it's obvious the relationship is over, it still hurts like hell to actually walk away. And it takes a long time to really get past."
"Have you? Gotten over walking away from Mom?"
"Not completely. But I'm gettin' there. Dean's so much more patient than I deserve. It's good a hell of a lot more often than it sucks ass now. And Sammy? You can let her know that you fucked up and you're a complete idiot… but the only reason to come clean about the affair is if you wanna hurt Jess."
"But how can we make things right if there are secrets?"
"I know it feels like the right thing to do. But it's right up there with running away from gunfire during a battle. Your first instinct is always wrong. The right thing sometimes comes at a heavy cost, though. It'll weigh on you. Make you lose sleep at night. It'll be a burden you'll have to carry alone."
"You sound like you speak from experience."
"I never cheated on your mother, Sammy. But that don't mean I never did anything I had to keep to myself, or that it wasn't a heavy thing to hold on to. That desire to unburden yourself is a damn selfish one, though. 'Cause it's always gonna be somebody's burden. Yours or hers."
Dean leaned against the kitchen counter next to John, eating a peach while he watched him do the dishes. He bought peaches solely for the pleasure of watching Dean eat them and he was temporarily distracted by the juice that ran from the corner of his mouth and the tongue trying to chase it.
"You know, it's been three years," the younger man said conversationally. "You keep callin' Roberto 'what's his face' and I'm gonna start thinkin' you're jealous."
"Why would I be jealous? You're much prettier than he is."
Dean snorted and poked John in the ribs. "You know what I mean."
"I'm not jealous." He looked Dean in the eye to make sure the boy knew he meant it. "I just keep mixing the bastard's name up with someone else's."
Dean chewed thoughtfully on a bit of peach. "Is it because he looks like Enrique Iglesias?"
John frowned at the boy. He knew it was before his time, but where the hell had he gotten Enrique? "You mean Julio, don't you?"
Dean huffed out a breath and walked away, shaking his head.
"What?" John called after him. When he got no answer he shrugged and went back to the dishes. "I don't think he looks anything like Julio Iglesias," he muttered to himself.
John came home from poker at Bobby's to find his oldest son brooding on his couch. Dean was writing in the kitchen. John went to him first, figuring that would be the simplest to deal with, and gave him a quick kiss.
"Hey, old man. How was poker?"
"Lucrative. If I can find someone to take poker chips as payment for somethin'. How's the manual comin'?" He was working on updating the Marine manual for the use of armored units in asymmetrical warfare and John was impressed with what he'd let him see so far.
Dean snorted softly. "It's comin'. I've just come to the conclusion that the Corps is run by a bunch of masochists. Now go see about Sam. He's been mopin' around here all day."
"Yeah," John sighed out as he grabbed two beers out of the fridge. He opened them, tossing the caps before going out to the living room and handing one of the bottles to his son as he sat down next to him.
"My marriage is over."
"Did you tell her? About the affair?"
"No… she… she never found out about it. And that's over now anyway."
"Did you love the girl you were sleepin' with?"
He let his head fall back against the back of the couch, looking like he was thinking about it. He huffed out a soft breath. "I don't think what I felt for Meg was love. More like temporary insanity. Bein' with her was like this addictive rush when it was going on. But… I don't even really miss her. Not like I miss Jess."
"Then what happened to end things?"
Sam shrugged, finally taking a sip of his beer. "My wife is in love with someone else. I wasn't… I was never there for her, you know? Lookin' back on it I just abandoned her. None of it was what I'd thought it would be and I just sort of checked out. And by the time I tried to fix it, it was too late. She never actually had sex with him… the cheating was all me. But she loves him. And she deserves to be happy. Of course, I just had to be a dick about it when I figured it out. Once I got over the crushed ego, though… I was almost happy for her." A tear escaped and he angrily wiped it away. "She deserves better than me."
"I don't know about all that. I happen to think you're a damn good man, son. You just needed to remember that."
He snorted softly, his bottom lip quivering like it had when he was small and he was trying so hard to be brave, to not cry when he was hurt. John softly touched the hair on the boy's temple, wishing it was as easy to solve his problems now as it had been back then. "Yeah. A damn good man who can't keep his dick in his pants. I deserve this. I deserve to be alone."
John pulled the boy against him and let him cry quietly on his shoulder, the way he let Andrew cry that day in his room. Losing a wife was a lot like losing a limb. "I'm sorry, son. It hurts. I know. Let this teach you what you need to know to be better and… you won't be alone forever."
Sam snorted wetly. "Whatever Yoda."
"You joke. But I'm thinkin' of writin' a book. John's Big Book of Answers."
The boy laughed so hard through his tears that he snorted. "Dad!"
"Too much? How about All You Ever Need to Know About Life and Maintaining Engines by John Winchester?"
Sam pushed himself away from John, still laughing and wiped away his tears. "You're deranged," he finally said when his laughter died down.
"Listen to your old man, son. Just this once. You'll get through this. And you'll be a better man for it. When you get married again, you'll be a better husband and a better father for it." He held up his hand to forestall his son's response. "Maybe you don't deserve it now – though I disagree with you on that – the idea is to become someone who does. You don't have to be the guy who cheated on his wife today just 'cause that's who you were last week."
Sam was looking at him with his warm hazel eyes and he just seemed so vulnerable. He could still see the children all his kids had been in an expression or moment of tiredness or irritability. Right now was one of those times with Sammy. "Yeah. Is it okay… if I crash here for a few days? I'm letting Jess keep the house and I…"
"Of course. The couch is all yours. Let me know if there's anything else you need."
"So… how long's Sam gonna be on the couch?" Dean was lazily stroking his inner thigh as they lay in bed. The need to be silent, almost secretive, about sex always seemed to make it hotter somehow. John was totally spent and slowly sliding towards sleep.
"Don't know. Kinda pitiful ain't he?"
"That's one way to put it. Think he'll leave if we tell him what we do on the couch?"
John snorted softly. "He might just move to the chair. I'm not sure he's pulled himself together enough yet to find someplace else to go, let alone actually go there. You really want him to go?"
Dean sighed. "No. And yes. I like it just bein' you and me. But you're right. He's pretty damn pitiful. And it's just gonna get worse."
"I talked to Mary this afternoon… Jess is getting married."
"Yeah. Supposedly it's gonna be a long engagement, but I have a feeling he's not gonna take it well."
"If he doesn't show some motivation by tomorrow, I'll give him a nudge. I never give more than a few days to wallow." Andrew had been the exception. He had been fragile, and John knew that pushing too soon would be just as disastrous as not pushing at all.
It started off with a sleepy conversation that probably should have been repeated the next day. The area over the garage that included Dean's apartment – and John still thought of it as Dean's apartment as often as he thought of it as 'home' – was huge. He estimated that 75% of it was unused storage space. Why not use more of it? He didn't want anything huge, they didn't need too much space. But what if one of the kids or a grandkid or two wanted to spend the night? Dean had been right that there was a certain ick factor about bedding people down on the couch where the boy routinely molested him.
So he'd sprung the idea on Dean one night after they'd both worked the longest ass day he'd endured since he left the Corps. They'd dragged themselves home from a job in Costa Rica only to have to finished an engine rebuild. They barely had the energy get ready for bed and kiss goodnight out once they'd crawled up the stairs. John had asked if he thought expanding was a good idea as he lay in bed fighting sleep for a few more seconds and Dean had mumbled against his chest that it sounded great before huffing out a breath that was either a sigh or a yawn and snoring softly on the inhale.
When Dean came home two days later from a short trip to visit his brother and his newest nephew, the contractors were already at work.
"What the fuck?" He stood in the doorway looking around in bewilderment.
John frowned. "It's the expansion we were talkin' about. Private bathroom for us, a guest room and a patio."
Dean blinked at him, clearly confused. "Was this another one of those times when you try to talk to me about shit while I'm fallin' asleep?"
John winced. "Uh. Yeah."
The younger man snorted, suddenly looking amused as he came inside and kicked the door shut behind him. "Dude, you really gotta stop doin' that. I never remember." He kissed John. "How long's this gonna last?"
John cleared his throat. It still threw him a little when Dean seemed to take everything in stride. "Two more weeks. I got two crews workin' at the same time to get it done faster. We'll likely have to stay at a hotel for a couple o' days while they work on the electricity and plumbing, but I figure we could just pretend we're on vacation."
"Awesome. They're not gonna be workin' late tonight, are they? Cause I, uh, missed you." Dean pressed himself against him briefly for emphasis.
He sighed out a shaky breath. "No, they aren't. Hell, I'll kick 'em out now if you want."
Dean backed away with a wicked smirk. "Nah. I like you a little desperate."
John laughed. "Bastard."
"Oh, wow," Dean said when he saw the finished product a little over two weeks later. "This is awesome, John!"
Their private bathroom had a bathtub and a shower, each big enough for them both, and a double sink. The guest room was a nice size with a dresser, a twin loft bed over a desk and a small flat screen and DVD player and another full sized bed on the other side of the room. A dining room had been added next to the kitchen. The living room, kitchen and dining room all opened up to the patio, which had a huge grill, a small fridge and more outdoor furniture than either of them had seen outside of a furniture store. And a fire pit.
"I can't believe that this only took two weeks."
"I didn't want us to be inconvenienced for long. I wanted more space for family stuff, and more privacy for us when people are over. Now that Sammy's got his shit together and he's marryin' Sarah, maybe he'll have kids too. Then there's your family. Your brother has the three, and your sister's gettin' married."
"Yeah. It was kinda the size of a postage stamp before."
Dean sat at the bar watching his half drunken family make fools of themselves on the dance floor. This was sure as hell a lot more fun than Sam's first wedding. That last one had been a stuffy affair, formal and regimented in an effort to reach perfection. But this one was a party and everyone had let their hair down. He and John were the only ones who had been nursing the same drinks they started out with. They had a job to do the next day, and they both needed to be clearheaded.
He chuckled as he watched Sam and his new wife Sarah attempting some sort of line dance that neither of them knew very well, or were too buzzed to remember, but where having too much fun to really care. Sam had long since taken off his jacket and tie, and his shirt was untucked, the sleeves rolled up. She was barefoot and her veil was nowhere to be seen. The song was over and everyone hooted music changed and most of the people on the floor paired off, but some went to their seats.
"Care to dance?"
Dean turned at the sound of Mary's voice, a slight smile on his face. "What will people say?"
She lifted one shoulder in a careless shrug. "Whatever the hell they want."
"I'm rusty," he warned. He and John didn't dance… they both wanted to lead and neither of them cared to dance enough to deal with trying to compromise. Besides, if they wanted to hold each other and move rhythmically, Dean thought sex was so much better than dancing.
"Just don't step on my toes and we'll be fine."
Dean finished off the drink he'd been nursing and set the glass down. "Lead the way."
After a moment of smoothly gliding across the dance floor, Mary smiled up at him. "I thought you were rusty."
He shrugged. "It's kinda like riding a bike."
"Where'd you learn to dance in the first place?"
"Had a girlfriend in high school. She insisted I learn how for prom. It's come in handy a few times since. You look great by the way. Roberto can't stop looking at you. I think someone's gonna get lucky tonight," he said with a wink.
She rolled her eyes. "You don't clean up so bad yourself. I get what John sees in you."
After her dance with Dean, Mary spied John across the dance floor from their table watching the kids. It wasn't difficult, most of their guests were gone and very few of the ones left were dancing. Only God knew where his tie had gone and the neck of his shirt was open. She made her way over and sat next to him. Dean was back at the table, laughing about something or other.
Almost all of their children were married now, except Robert, who seemed to be having too much fun to settle down. Michael and Karen were expecting their third baby. Shauna and Jacob were 'negotiating' their second child now that their oldest was four and not far from starting preschool. Riley was home on maternity leave and already seemed like she was anxious to get back in the pilot's seat. Andrew was working full time for John now as a mechanic and running logistics for his side business. He and Charlie's first baby had just turned six months old.
They all sat around the big family table joking and laughing, looking like they were in no hurry to leave despite the lateness of the hour. They're kids were all sitting around a small table nearby, Michael's oldest daughter 'babysitting' the younger ones.
"Look at what we did," John said as he watched them.
Mary smiled. "Yeah. They're pretty great, aren't they?"
He huffed out a soft breath and nodded. "You ever regret it? Marryin' me?"
"Never. I'd do it all over again. You?"
"Not for a minute. So, Roberto? He the one?"
She shrugged. "He was yesterday. He is today. Tomorrow? Who knows?"
He snorted out a laugh. "You are such a damn hippy."
She laughed. "And you are such a damn square."
He tilted his head in agreement. "Damn straight."
She shook her head and stood up. "Come on. Let's go join 'em." They crossed the dance floor together and took their seats.
"She's bossy, dude," Andrew was saying, amused, as he watched Michael's first born ordering around her younger brothers and cousins.
"Yeah," Michael conceded with a shrug. "She's a Winchester and she's a first born. Just look at Sammy. You'll see soon enough."
"Hey," Sam objected, slouching casually in his chair, his arm around his new wife. "Are you tryin' to say I'm bossy? Me?"
Everyone went quiet for a second and looked at him before they all burst into laughter, Sam included.
John finally tapped Dean on the shoulder. "Com' on sweetheart. Time to go."
Andrew sighed and stretched. "I guess that's my cue too."
"You're leaving already?" Sarah asked, looking disappointed.
"We got a work trip in the morning," Dean explained
His comment was met by silence. Sam's laughter broke the tension. "Yeah. I bet. Just make sure you two call me in case you decide to break, bend or otherwise abuse any laws."
John snorted. "If we get caught, you mean," he said with a wink. He stood up and pulled his son into a hug complete with a few manly pats on the back. "Congratulations son. I'm proud of you."
"Yeah. Well, sometimes the second time's the charm, right?"
"Sometimes." John smiled at his oldest child and pat him on the cheek. "Be happy, Sammy."
"Be careful, Dad. You too Dean."
"What about me?" Andrew complained.
"What about you? You're run logistics off site."
"You ever think about havin' kids?"
Dean froze and looked up at John from the guts of the transmission he was rebuilding with a frown. He wondered if this had anything to do with Sam finally having a kid last week and putting John and Mary out of their self-imposed misery. Frankly, Dean didn't see the point. His family was in no danger of dying out with his brother's four kids and his sister's two. And it wasn't like there was any shortage of babies around for John to spoil rotten.
"Why, you're biological clock tickin', sweetness?" he finally asked with a raised eyebrow.
John scowled at him good-naturedly. "Don't be a smartass. I just mean… I've got kids, and I wouldn't trade 'em for anything. I think you should get the chance to be a father too if you want. You'd be a great father."
He straightened himself and wiped his hands on the towel slung over his shoulder. He'd never given much thought to having kids. Sometimes, when he'd thought that maybe he'd fall in love with a woman and get married he wondered what kind of husband and father he'd make, if he'd be as good as John. But it had never been any kind of serious consideration. "What're you suggestin'? Adoption?"
"Nah. Sara Rose wants to have kids."
He blinked at the older man in shock. "You want me to fuck Sara Rose? The receptionist?"
John growled softly, raising gooseflesh on Dean's arms. The older man grabbed him by the hips and pushed him hard against the wall behind him. "Let me explain somethin' to you, sweetheart. I'm a very jealous man. The only person you're allowed to fuck for as long as we're together is me."
He bit his lip. He loved it when John got all possessive. "Yeah? You do know where babies come from, right?"
"There's artificial insemination." John's breath was warm on his throat just before he nipped at the skin there, making him shudder. Dean slid his hands up the older man's arms and settled them on his shoulders.
He licked his dry lips. "You're serious about this, aren't you?"
"I'm just sayin'… if it's somethin' you wanna do, I'll be behind you one hundred percent. Show you how to change diapers and burped the kid."
"Already know how to do all that shit. Do you realize how many kids I'm around all the time?"
John smiled. "Yeah. Just think about it."
"Okay. I'll think about it. But right now… I think we should close up and take this upstairs."