We're Having a Baby!
SUMMARY: John and Mary have exciting news, yet little Dean is anything but excited. The boy is worried, scared even, but Dean's fears have nothing to do with monsters he will hunt in the years to come.
RATED: G / K
COPYRIGHT NOTE: I don't own Supernatural
STORY TAKES PLACE IN: Pre-series (wee!Dean); pre-Sammy
COMMENTS: Welcome, readers! It's been a while since I last posted a SPN fanfic.
Obligatory warning for excessive Winchester family fluff—not that there's anything wrong with it. ;) Enjoy!
We're Having a Baby!
Another long day's work ended with John Winchester slamming the door to the Impala's driver's seat. Home sweet home. Lawrence was always blanketed in nighttime whenever John returned, but he was relieved to see lights illuminate a few windows of his family's second-story house. Mary was certain to still be up.
Ordinarily, John came home lethargically, craving some downtime with the TV and an ice-cold beer. But tonight was no ordinary night. Tiredness was the last thing hindering John's exuberance. As he strolled into his house, the smile on John's lips only broadened, almost to the point of hurting when he found his wife washing dishes in the kitchen.
"Well hello there, beautiful," John teased, chuckling as the unsuspecting Mary jumped by his apparently unexpected arrival. Spying the kitchen wall clock, John was surprised with himself for coming home ten minutes early. Alas, the man could not help himself…not tonight of all nights.
Returning a half-done dish into its sudsy bath, Mary turned around whilst wiping her soapy hands on her discolored apron. Rolling her eyes, the blonde giggled, "Oh yes, John, I'm so 'beautiful' in an old apron and dishpan hands."
Contrary to her playful sarcasm, John was not joking. Approaching to wrap his arms around his glowing wife, John panted a small peck on her lips. The man winked almost giddily. "Don't sell yourself short. Dishpan hands are making a comeback."
Mary laughed before returning the smooch. "You're only saying that so you don't have to do the dishes, mister."
Was John that transparent? Then again, he earned his keep by providing for his family, so chores were rarely John's responsibility. Fortunately, not all of the chores fell on Mary's shoulders anymore, not since she got a tiny helper around the house. "Where's your little assistant?
John did not consider his question offensive. Yet to his surprise, Mary discreetly bit her lip and broke their hug. She did not return to the sink, but she did take two steps backwards from her husband. Almost in a shameful manner, the woman averted her eyes from John.
"Dean's up in his room," answered Mary, her quieter tone contrasting her earlier glee.
Unsure what his wife was implying, John proceeded to ask the obvious. "Did you tell him?"
His wife nodded. "Yes I did."
"And…he went to bed early."
That was odd. The Winchesters' son was a bundle of energy who rarely went to sleep before his appointed bedtime. Granted, John usually returned home after his son was tucked into bed, but the boy was usually awake enough when his dad snuck into his room to wish him sweet dreams. For Dean to willingly hit the sack early, it was… Well, it was not "bad" for a kid to get extra sleep, but with Dean it was just… "Odd" was the best word John could find.
Not wanting to spoil the mood, John attempted one last grin. "Heh, tuckered out from all the celebrating was he?"
Mary appreciated her husband's effort, and she rewarded John with a quick smile of her own. However, as they both expected, the lightheartedness did not last long.
"Not exactly, John."
Like most evenings, Dean was still awake post-bedtime when John crept into his son's room to bid him goodnight. The boy always tried his hardest to stay awake so he could see his daddy come home from work. It was the highlight of John's night, something both Winchester men looked forward to. Mary knew of their rendezvous, but did not mind or intervene unless Dean's sleep habits became dramatically disrupted. Growing boys needed their rest, after all.
Dean was curled up in a cocoon of soft blankets. The minute he heard John's footprints reach his bed the boy poked his head out from his covers. Slivers of stars and moonlight illuminated the dark room, enough for both Winchesters to see each other's facial expressions.
As John feared, Dean's face lacked its usual degree of optimism, but the boy did put on a smile for his father's return. "Hi, Daddy."
"Hey there, sport," John smiled back, leaning over the bed to kiss his son's forehead. "Did you have a good day today?"
The kid was a poor actor, but Dean tried to look convincing when he nodded a timid, "Yeah."
Of course after speaking with Mary, John already knew the truth. The bed's springs moaned as John sat down beside his son, encouraging Dean to sit up for a short chat. Per Mary's maternal preferences, she did not want John to keep Dean awake for too long. However, because John left for work early in the morning, now was the best opportunity for him to talk to his child about a certain issue.
"Mommy told me you went to bed early tonight," John began conversationally, knowing how to break the ice. "You feeling okay, Dean?"
Dean repeated his half-hearted, "Yeah," wrapping his arms around his short legs and bringing his knees to his chin. For someone who claimed to be "okay," Dean had a funny way of showing it.
Awkward silence then passed between father and son. Both expected the other to speak next. When John realized that his boy probably did not know how to broach tonight's topic of discussion, the parent rightfully got to the point.
"Mommy told you we're having another baby, right?"
There was no reply this time, which was the reaction John feared. Hugging his knees tighter, Dean's eyes strayed from his dad, staring into oblivion. The boy was not stupid; he knew enough that having a baby was a very happy occasion. Mary had been absolutely radiant when she returned from the doctor's office earlier this afternoon, hardly waiting to call John and relay the good news. She hugged and kissed Dean profusely, unable to keep her jubilation to herself. And underneath John's more subdued exterior was the obvious elation of an expectant father. To say Dean's parents were "happy" about their upcoming baby was the understatement of the year.
So…why could Dean not feel the same euphoria?
John placed a hand on Dean's shoulder to rub encouragingly. "Aren't you happy that you're gonna' get a new little brother or sister to play with?"
"Yeah…" Dean whispered, his mind too jumbled to formulate better replies. He knew he should be happy. Why was he not happy? What was wrong with him—?
"Daddy, what's wrong with me?"
After the series of "yeahs," John was surprised by his son's sudden change of words. That, and he could not believe what he heard from his boy's mouth, either. As though Dean said a bad word, John's eyes widened as he did a double-take. "What? What did you say, Dean?"
His father's reaction caused the skittish kid to fiddle in his blankets, unsure if he should have asked anything. But with the proverbial cat out of a bag, Dean knew he could not go back now. Swallowing, John's son bravely reiterated himself. "Is something wrong with me? Is that why you an' Mommy are having a new baby?"
Mary had warned him about this. According to her, Dean had become suspiciously distant since the announcement of the Winchesters' second child. Being such a family-oriented kid, Dean seemed like the perfect candidate to welcome a baby. Both Mary and John expected him to be bouncing off the walls!
Instead, Dean was somberly asking ludicrous questions and drawing even more ludicrous assumptions. "I know I spilt my orange juice on the carpet last week. And I'm sorry for jammin' one of my toy soldiers in the Impala's heat vent. I didn't mean it! And…"
"Dean! Dean!" John abruptly stopped the boy's rambles, especially when his son sounded on the verge of tears. The worst part was that Dean's anxieties were completely unjustified. Where had Dean gotten such an asinine idea that John and Mary did not want him anymore?! John Winchester would sooner kill himself before giving his child the slightest impression of not being a good enough son!
Both hands now firmly holding Dean's shoulders, John was determined to end this nonsense immediately. "Don't be ridiculous. Your mom and I aren't having a baby to replace you or anything. In fact, we're gonna' need your help when the baby comes."
Watery eyes blinking, Dean perked hopefully. "You will?"
A gentle smirk pulling his lips, John nodded firmly. "You bet. You're gonna' be a big brother now, and you've gotta' look after your baby brother or sister. They're gonna' look up to you."
"Cause' I'll be taller?" Dean innocently cocked his head.
John chuckled, raising one hand to ruffle his boy's mop of hair. "Not just height, son. Your sibling's gonna' 'look up' to you because you're older. You know and can do more things."
Dean seemed to enjoy that possibility. He had never before been a role model to anybody. Though young, Dean knew plenty of things to teach his upcoming sibling: the best hiding places in the backyard, the closets where Mommy stashed Christmas presents, and so on. Those were things that only a kid could teach a fellow kid.
Maybe having a new baby was not such a bad thing after all.
"Your mom and I love you very much, Dean," John suddenly interrupted the boy's hopeful thoughts. Affectionately kissing his son's forehead once more, John offered the most paternal smile he could muster. "That's why we know you'll be a wonderful big brother."
As quickly as Dean's worries came they vanished. Once John's lips left Dean's forehead, the little boy returned the gesture twofold, small arms around John's neck and a kiss to his cheek. It was amazing how easily Dean recovered, though John suspected the boy was never completely upset from the outset. The idea of the grown-ups having a baby was not a problem to Dean; he had just been worried if the baby might replace him. Now knowing the truth, there was no reason for moping. After all, a baby was a happy occasion, was it not?
Parting from John, Dean beamed with renewed excitement. "So when's the baby coming, Daddy? Next week?"
John laughed, hating to disappoint his son any further. "I'm afraid it takes a while before a baby can be born, Dean." He just hoped this conversation would not inevitably lead to the "where do babies come from?" discussion. Dean was still a bit too young for the talk. Hoping to avoid the subject, John patted his boy's back encouragingly. "But there's a lot of work to do before the baby comes, too. How bout' you help me clean out the guest room on Saturday? It'll be a great place for the nursery."
"Kay'!" Dean nearly bounced, almost getting overly excited for the late time of night. Mary would not be happy if the kid became too animated to sleep. "Can I help paint it, too?"
"Sure you can! Although, we might wait a while on the paint color, until we know if the baby's a boy or a girl. Don't wanna' paint your brother's room pink, do ya?"
After making a face, the giggly Dean shook his head. "No way! Pink's for girls! Blue is for boys, Dad!" the child corrected as though the color scheme for male and female babies was dead-obvious. That, and Dean's bedroom was painted sky-blue.
"Then we'll save the painting for later," John confirmed, before rising from Dean's bed to tuck in the boy. "Right now, you just get some rest, okay, kiddo? Starting tomorrow you've gotta' start thinking like a big brother. The baby's got a while to come, but a lot's gonna' change around here in the next nine months. It'll take some getting used to, but I know you can do it, son."
Nestled in his bed, Dean smiled appreciatively. "I love you, Daddy."
With a final kiss goodnight, John smiled tenderly. "I love you, too, Dean. Sweet dreams."
After his father quietly shut the bedroom door, Dean snuggled deeper into his blankets. Although energized by the baby's excitement, the child did feel more confident in his ability to sleep tonight, unhindered by unnecessary worries. How foolish he was for thinking that Mary and John did not love him. It was embarrassing in hindsight. Like the guest room being converted to a nursery, John and Mary's hearts were making room for a new addition to the family, not replacing the old with the new.
Dean, too, would make room in his heart for his future baby brother or sister; as much room as his young heart could allow.
A/N: After previously writing a one-shot about wee!Dean and Mary, called Mother's Day, I wanted to try my luck writing about wee!Dean and John. Having had the chance to write about Dean and both of his parents has helped deepen my adoration for this loveable family. :)
Thank you very much for reading! Reviews are welcomed—I'd love to know what you thought of this story.