It's good having Dad back with us, hunting like we used to before Sam went off to Stanford. All seems to be forgiven and forgotten between the two of them, which is a great relief for me, since I wasn't exactly looking forward to being the peacemaker again. It's also a lot easier to have him call the shots, rather than me. After all, if there is one thing I excel at, it's following Dad's orders.

Dad's out doing some research now, so it's just me and Sammy. It's almost midnight, and Sam's already asleep, face down as usual, snoring away. Me, on the other hand, well, I don't exactly see the point in sleeping right now. When Dad comes back, I'm going to have to move into the bed Sammy's sleeping in, since this stupid motel only had a room with 2 beds available. Luckily its two queen beds, if it had been a single I would have opted to sleep in the Impala instead of being crushed by my gigantic hulk of a baby brother.

Dad walks into the room, and I do what I used to do when I was a kid and pretend to be asleep. Here I am, in my twenties, faking sleep so my dad won't be mad at me. Yeah, I'm one tough hunter, aren't I? I hear him put his bag down on the table and then slowly walk up to the beds, trying not to disturb Sam and me. I crack open my eyes a little, just enough to see Dad try and fail to turn Sam onto his back. Sam starts muttering nonsense in his sleep. Dad coaxes him a little, and eventually he manages to get Sam onto his back. Then, to my surprise, he leans over and gently places a kiss on Sam's forehead, pushing back his bangs. He whispers something I can't really make out. Tears threaten my eyes as I see my Dad, the one person more afraid of chick-flick moments than me, petting his youngest son. It brings back some of the happiest memories from my otherwise non-existent childhood.

I close my eyes quickly as soon as he starts approaching my bed. I expect a shake on my shoulder or something like that to wake me up. After all, he knows how much I hate chick-flick moments, doesn't he?

If he does, well, then, he doesn't really seem to give a damn about it.

A few seconds later I feel the bed dip next to me, and I realise that he isn't going to wake me up. He wraps one of his arms around my chest, pulling me close to him. Confused, I still fake sleeping, not wanting to put him, or myself for that matter, in an embarrassing position. But, it seems, nothing has changed since I was little. My dad could still call out my bluff.

"Dean, I know you're awake. Open your eyes, kid."

Mentally kicking myself for being so damn obvious, I do as I'm told and open my eyes, turning around so I am facing my father. He pulls himself up to rest against the headboard, basically cradling me in his arms. I look up at him sheepishly, and he catches my gaze with a warm, loving one of his own. He put his hand on my cheek, and I subconsciously lean into his palm. I guess it's been a long time since he's been this…fatherly with me.

"I'm sorry I disappeared like that without telling you son. I just wanted to protect you and your brother, that's all."

My jaw seems to be wired shut with shock, so I just nod dumbly.

"You wanna go to sleep now?"

Again, I nod dumbly, and he lays himself back down to rest his head on the pillow and pulls my head to his shoulder.

"I love you, Dean. You know that right?"

This time my jaw doesn't fail me.

"I love you too, Dad."

He smiles and kisses my cheek, before closing his eyes and pulling me impossibly closer.

And for the first time in a while, I fall asleep with a smile on my face.