I don't own supernatural. The same goes for the rest of the story in case I forget.
WARNINGS!: some swearing, descriptions of what actually happened to Sam in hell, and major cuddling because I can't resist.
Chapter 1 A Very Mixed Up Family Reunion
Twenty year old Dean was dog tired. All he wanted to do was lay down and go to sleep. Unfortunately, this was not an option.
He had his father had just finished a three week long hunt. He hadn't been able to check his phone since the hunt started, and they had left Sam at home. He would be the first to admit that he hadn't been doing the best job of taking care of his baby brother lately, but that didn't mean he wasn't worried about the boy.
Sam had hit his growth spurt lately, and was getting teased at school because of it. He was tall, thin to the point of looking slightly unhealthy, and somewhat clumsy as he got used to the new height. It also didn't help that he was the smartest boy in school either. He was teased for being nerdy and wearing hand-me-down clothes. Dean knew all of that.
But he was having his own problems. Their father was pushing even harder in their hunting (he was doing the same to Sam) and had insisted Dean get a job. Dean's day consisted of waking with Sam at four in the morning for training, driving Sam to school on his way to work, working to around nine at night, and then driving to the nearest bar for hustling. He was so tired by the time he got home that all he could do was fall into bed.
He knew Sam was having a hard time because he woke up most mornings with Sam in his bed. Whenever Sam got upset, couldn't sleep, had had a particularly bad day, or had a nightmare he would end up in Dean's bed. Dean never minded, but their father thought it was childish and wanted it to stop.
Dean wondered how childish their father would think it was if he learned Sam still called Dean Daddy sometimes.
Sam's first word had come later then most children. He didn't say it until he was two. Dean thought it might have had something to do with how Sam had had to watch their mother die. Sure, he didn't remember it, but something like that had to leave a mark on a kid.
Sam went to daycare because Dean had to be at school during the day. Sam would watch everyday as the other kids ran up to the people who picked after school, yelling "Daddy!" happily the whole way.
To his two year old mind it made logical sense that the person who picked him up and took care of him would be his Daddy. And if Sam had been any regular child Dean conceded that it would have been. But it was Dean who picked Sam up after school, and Dean who took care of him.
Dean had been stunned when Sam had run up to him one day after school yelling Daddy. It was Sam's first word. For a while he was too stunned by the development to do anything about it, and by the time he tried to get Sam to stop it was too late. Dean had begged and bargained with the two year old, but to no avail.
Eventually they came to a compromise. Sam would call John Dad, and he would call Dean Deanie in public. However, when it was just the two of them Sam insisted on calling him Daddy.
Other children might have been embarrassed by having their little brother calling them Daddy, but to Dean it was like the reward for all his hard work. Sam calling him Daddy made everything worth it. Helping Sam get dressed in the morning, making sure he was fed, teaching him to read; it was all worth it just to hear that one little word from Sam. Not that it hadn't been worth it before, but being Sammy's daddy was like icing on the cake.
Even now that Sam was a big strong sixteen year old he still wanted his daddy sometimes. And Dean always made sure to be there.
When he entered the apartment they had been staying in the last two months, Dean knew instantly that something was wrong. He just knew. And he knew it had something to do with his baby brother.
"Sammy!" he called urgently.
There was instant movement from their bedroom. A tiny form sprinted out of the room towards Dean.
"Daddy!" the tiny Sam cried, flinging himself at his suddenly much larger brother.
Dean was stunned, but managed to catch the tiny little boy and lift Sam into his arms.
"Sammy?" he asked, momentarily forgetting his father behind him in his stunned worry.
The tiny head nodded against his shoulder where it had buried it's self.
"What happened Baby?" the pet name slipped past his lips before he could stop himself. Not that he really wanted to stop himself.
"Don't know," Sammy answered, his voice muffled against Dean's shirt. "Went to sleep after you left for the hunt, and woke up like this the next day. I called you," he added. "You didn't answer." He sounded a bit hurt.
"I know baby, I was just really busy. You really don't know why you shrunk, Sammy? You have to be around six," Dean questioned worriedly.
"Nu-uh," Sam replied, shaking his head.
Dean suddenly became aware of just how warm the little body he held really was. "Are you sick?" he inquired, going to mother hen mode at the thought.
"Uh-huh," Sam confirmed, his little head nodding against Dean again.
Well at least that explained why he was being so huggy. A sick Sammy was always a clingy Sammy.
"What've you been doing to keep your fever down?" Dean asked, taking charge as always.
"Cool shower. Too cold," the little boy shuddered. "Children's Tylenol every eight hours. Cool wash cloths in strategic points," Sam listed off.
"Alright, we need to pack up; we're moving again," Dean informed him. "Dad already rented the next house. We just have to move in. It's a big house. Apparently one of his hunter friends is lending it to him because he needs help with a hunt and it's too far away for us to stay here." Dean's voice was low and soothing, the opposite of what it normally was. He was moving around the room as he spoke, gathering up odds and ends that were littered around.
He turned around to get to the bedroom and caught sight of his father standing stunned in the doorway. He remembered what Sam had yelled when he was running towards him and winced a little. He couldn't imagine how much that must have hurt his father, but right now he was more worried about Sam.
He avoided his dad's eyes as he finished grabbing everything of worth in the house. By the time he was done Sam was asleep against his shoulder, and his father was in the car waiting.
He carried his baby outside and into the car. Sitting down in the backseat he prepared himself for a very long and awkward car ride, not to mention the questions his father was sure to have.
"So," John began after a half an hour. "Sam calls you Daddy?"
"Yeah," Dean answered. "Always has, actually. It was his first word. He saw all the other kids at the day care getting picked up by their daddies, and figured the person who picked him up must be his daddy. It took me forever to get him to stop calling me that in public. I had to compromise in the end. He would call you Dad, and call me Deanie in public if he could call me Daddy when we were alone. I didn't want to hurt your feelings, so I agreed to it. I was six, Dad, I didn't know what else to do," he was pleading with his dad to understand, and he knew it.
"I do understand, Dean; really, I do. It's just-it's hard, y'know. Knowing my son doesn't look at me like a father."
Dean tried to look understanding, but he didn't actually have a son (if you didn't count Sam) so he really had no idea how his father felt.
"For what's it's worth, I could never see anyone else as a father," Dean offered, carefully pushing thoughts of Bobby out of his mind. "Lord, I can still remember what you were like when I was four." A small fond smile decorated Dean's face.
"Is that actually really the last time you remember me being a good father?" John asked in a whisper.
Dean looked undecided, but eventually decided to tell the truth. "I don't know if you've noticed, Dad, but I haven't had a daddy since I was four." Dean turned his head away. "The last time I remember you helping me get dressed, the last time I remember playing ball, the last time I remember cuddling up in front of the TV when neither of us were hurt; all of that was before Mom died. Sammy and I didn't just lose one parent that night. Sammy had me to be a replacement, but I didn't have anyone."
John looked understandably upset. Dean knew how much he had to be hurting his father, but he was really telling his father the whole truth for the first time in sixteen years.
The rest of the drive was spent in silence until Sam stirred when they were getting close to their destination.
"Where are we?" he asked sleepily, snuggling closer into Dean's body heat and shivering.
"We're almost to the house Dad's friend got us," Dean told him, putting the back of his hand to his baby's sweaty forehead. "You're burning up, Sammy."
Sam didn't answer.
They pulled into the drive way of a house that may as well have been considered a mansion.
"How the hell does a hunter end up with enough money to buy one of these?" Dean questioned incredulously.
"Oh, I'm sorry," John smirked. "Did I give the impression that he bought it? It goes to the oldest son in the family."
"Oh," Dean said, looking enlightened. "I don't suppose this friend you're going to be helping is Josh, is it?"
"How'd you guess?" John asked.
"I don't know; maybe it's the fact that Josh always has the best of everything, no matter that he doesn't have a paying job," Dean snarked back. "I thought you and him had a falling out."
"We did," John confirmed. "But I'm the closest hunter, he really needs help, and he says he refuses to allow you and Sam to stay in a crappy motel when you could be here. I'm going a few states over, actually. You two are staying here because I don't need you on this hunt. Plus now that we've got Sammy…." He trailed off.
"Right here," Sam volunteered. "Sam doesn't appreciate being talked about as though he's not there."
Dean snorted at the very Sam like statement. They got out of the car and grabbed the bags. Sam tried to get Dean to put him down so he could carry his own bag, but was met with a slightly stern look and instructions to relax. There were no more complaints.
John watched in shock. He had noticed before that Sam always seemed to be a little more willing to follow Dean's instructions, but now that he was paying attention it was obvious who Sam trusted. When he asked Sam to do something he was usually met with a curious "Why?" and then the mother of all bitch faces and an argument when he said something along the lines of, "Because I said so."
All Dean had to do was give Sam the slightest of looks and the little boy was….well, he wasn't all sunshine and roses, but at least he was compliant.
Once inside the house, Dean immediately set about claiming his and Sam's room. He didn't really care that the house they were in was a mansion; he and Sam would be sharing a room anyway. He found a room that looked somewhat like an old nursery. It didn't actually have a baby tint to it, but there were a couple scattered toys sitting on the ground and a good six full sized beds. It was good enough for him.
He returned to the living room where his father was inspecting his surrounding carefully. "Josh keeps the windows and doors salted at all times. He put in iron fittings, and there's a devil's trap under every rug."
"Can you do me a favor when you see him?" Dean pleaded.
"Depends on what the favor is," John declared warily, well aware that she should always treat any request from Dean with caution.
"Tease him about being a rich little prick. Tell him he's a first class jerk," Dean requested.
"Jerk?" John asked.
"Junior educated rich kid," Sam clarified. "Why did you think Dean always hates it when I call him jerk?"
There was no snobbishness in the question, nor was there a challenge like John was used to. Sam sounded honestly curious.
"I thought you made it up when you were both younger and you thought jerk was the ultimate swear word," John confessed.
"Please," Sam complained with an eye roll. "I was never that naïve. I did live with you and Dean, y'know. By the time I was five I knew exactly which words I should avoid."
Before John could answer there was a bright white light, momentarily blinding all of them.
Dean immediately dropped Sam onto his feet and grabbed his gun. Sam pulled a knife, and John was ready with holy water before they could even see again.
When the light cleared three people were standing there, looking panicked.
Dean was half way to holding a knife at the neck of one of them when there was another flash.
Sam and John were now in the middle. On their left side Dean was half way to what looked like his younger self, his younger father, and his mother. On their right side two men were standing from the ground, groaning as they did so.
Dean caught the eye of the shorter of the two men, and his breath caught in his throat. He was looking at himself.
"Shit," echoed from both men at once.