Author's Note: This little story has been floating around for quite some time, and I figured I needed to get it out somehow. Just a cute and fluffy piece between Bobby and little Dean. Hope you all like it!

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own Supernatural or its characters. I'm just playing with them to help lighten my mood!

It was early morning in South Dakota and already the sun was blazing with sweltering summer heat. Bobby Singer leaned against the counter in his kitchen, staring out the window and feeling the thick heat wrapping around his skin. He raised an eyebrow when he caught sight of a small child carrying a bucket towards an old fence across the yard, near the entrance of his salvage yard. The little child was none other than five year old Dean Winchester. What in the world is that boy up to at this early hour? Bobby couldn't help but wonder.

John had showed up late yesterday evening with his two boys in tow. The men had become friends over the past year, and the older hunter had taken a quick liking to John's sons, Dean and Sammy. Sammy was a little over a year old now, all giggles and smiles, with a wild mop of brown hair and a chubby face. Dean, on the other hand, was small and petite, his blond hair shining like a halo around his pale face. As he stood there watching the boy curiously, Bobby realized that as much as he liked the other two Winchesters, little Dean had snuck in and stolen his heart.

He cherished time with the boy, enjoyed the fact that while his pouty mouth said nothing, his large green eyes displayed all of his secrets for Bobby to see. He was a good boy, in Bobby's opinion; he took care of Sammy and himself, and he helped the adults whenever he could. Bobby hated that John had already begun to teach the boy about weapons and hunting, but Dean did whatever was asked of him, never once complaining. Of course, that was something else that bothered him: Dean's lack of speech. John just shrugged his shoulders when Bobby had asked him about it. Jim Murphy had told him that he speculated that trauma had silenced the child.

Bobby heaved a sigh as he continued to watch the golden head of hair moving by the fence. His curiosity getting the better of him, he put down his cup of coffee, pushed off the counter and headed out into the stifling heat. He took his time and shuffled his feet to rustle the grass so as to alert Dean to his presence. When he was within an arm's length, the boy stood and turned his green eyes to Bobby, making no attempt to hide what he was doing. Bobby noticed that the boy's pants were dusty where he'd been kneeling in the dry dirt and that the bucket he'd been carrying was half full of water. Dean held a cup in his dirty hands.

Bobby looked past the boy to where he'd been kneeling and his mouth dropped open. Dean had found a patch of the garden that Karen had lovingly planted so many years ago. The child had cleared away the weeds and tall grass, trimmed the plants and expired blooms, and was in the process of watering each plant with the cup. He blinked his wide eyes up at Bobby, clearly asking the older man if he was in trouble. With a shake of his head, Bobby dropped down into the grass, pulling Dean with him. He cradled the silent child to him, stroking his hair and placing a hesitant kiss to his forehead.

"Dean, how did you find this?" he asked softly. A small hand pointed a little further down the fence line where a ball lay. "Oh, I see," he murmured, "Found it while you and Sammy were playing ball, huh?" A nod of the blond head. Bobby couldn't tear his eyes away from the bit of Karen's garden that Dean had obviously been working on every time he was at the salvage yard. "Sweet peas were Karen's favorite," he whispered, and Dean wasn't sure if it was meant for his ears. He had tidied up the area, freeing all the pretty flowers, but he was most attracted to the pink flowers that Bobby had just named. Dean pointed to a smaller clump of white flowers and Bobby smiled. "I planted those for her; they're called sweet Williams. And those gold ones are marigolds, and those are petunias."

The two sat quietly amongst the flowers and tall grass, with Dean in Bobby's lap while he named all the flowers. "Karen's nickname was sweet pea," he mumbled, a blush lighting up his cheeks. Inquisitive green eyes made contact with his, and Bobby couldn't help the smile that tugged at his lips. "You know, Dean, you remind me of her in some ways. And you're special to me, in a different way, but still as important. And you gave me this part of her back. Thank you," he whispered in his gruff voice, tears building in his eyes. Dean's little hand barely touched the older man's face, and Bobby felt nothing but Karen all around him.

He looked to the little boy in his lap, who gave off the air of sweetness and compassion; the gentle child who seemed destined for heartache and pain. And in that moment, Bobby realized what he hadn't understood all those years ago with Karen, what this child helped him see. Bobby wanted to be able to nurture this little life, to make a difference for him; to be a father. Bobby hugged Dean tightly to him, laid another kiss to his forehead, and softly spoke, "Even though Karen is gone, I know I'm gonna be okay. Because, Dean, you're my sweet pea, too."

He waited for the scoff at such a girly nickname, but was shocked when Dean wrapped his little arms around Bobby's neck, tears spilling down his cheeks. "Thank you, Uncle Bobby," the child whispered into his ear. Stunned by being gifted with Dean's voice and words, the two sat until the sun rose higher in the sky and they were sure that John and Sammy would be stirring soon. With smiles on their faces, Bobby and Dean headed for the back door, their morning adventure their little secret, both feeling lighter than they had in a long time.

Review please! Lots of hugs! :)