Once Upon a Time

A tale about Sir Sam, Sir Dean, and how they met the lovely Lady Rose

(told as all the best Fairy Tales are…)

Sometimes the Universe just lets things fall together - and it all turns out right. This was one of those days. It was a warm summer evening, not too hot, temperatures just right to keep the windows open and let in the cool breeze.

It was a Saturday, and all the kids had spent the whole day playing and having fun. Dinner had been sandwiches and fresh fruit, and now all of Sam Winchester's family was in the living room, full and comfortable. The girls were sitting on the floor, playing house, AJ and Gabe were rolling a ball back and forth with Rip occasionally jumping in to try to bat it, and Robin was sitting on the couch, slowly learning a new song his mama was teaching him on his little guitar. Lucky was lounging on the couch as well, his tail swishing lazily in time to the music.

Sam leaned in the doorway from the kitchen, and couldn't keep the smile off his face even if he'd wanted to. This was his life - his beautiful wife, his wonderful children.

He felt arms wrap around him from behind. It was his Rose, of course. He covered her arms and hands with his own, and smiled as he felt her press a warm kiss on his back. He hummed a contented sigh as he tugged on her, bringing her around to lean against his chest, holding her close as she'd just done to him.

They stood silently for several minutes, just watching their children at play. Finally, Sam commented, his voice soft and gentle, "That's a beautiful sight, y'know… our babies."

Rose grinned and hugged his arms across her. "Uh, huh. We did good, Puppy. We did damn good."

Sam buried his nose in her neck. "Mmm, and if I have my way, we aren't finished yet."

Rose laughed softly, and batted her lashes at him. "Why, Sam Winchester, I do believe you're flirting with me..." She stood on her tiptoes and suddenly the giggles of their daughters reached her ears. Rose spun around and, hands on hips, cocked an eyebrow. "Is something funny over there, my little bunnies?"

Angel rolled her eyes. "You and Daddy - you're making his heart tickle again. We can feel it!"

Sam took the opening his eldest gave him. "Tickle? Did I just hear the word tickle?" Releasing Rose, he bent over, held his hands out like claws and, rushing towards his kids, proceeded to pounce on them, starting a rambunctious game of Tickle Monster. The girls screeched and tackled him, once he'd laid himself down on the floor. He knew how much they loved the game, and he happily participated in it whenever he could.

He gave as good as he got, and it wasn't long before all of them - or at least he and the elder of the kids - were sprawled out on the floor, gasping for breath.

Julia giggled once she'd found her breath again. "That was fun, Daddy!" She rolled over on her hands and knees and crawled over to lay herself out over her dad, resting her head against his chest.

"Think so, baby?" Sam asked, wrapping his arms around his precious girl.

Jeni moved over to sit at Sam's head and began to run her fingers through his hair. She didn't say a word, merely smiling softly when Sam sighed and closed his eyes as she caressed his hair.

Rose walked over and sat on the floor by the couch; her twin sons toddled over and both snuggled into her lap, while Robin put his arms around his mother's shoulders.

Gabe had been watching Daddy and the girls very closely, and decided that this tickling thing looked like fun! He poked his little fingers in Mommy's side, and AJ copied his brother.

Rose played along, gasping and giggling "Oh, no! I-I think we have another generation of Tickle Monsters heeerrrrreeeeeeeEEEEKKKKK! R-Robin!" Robin had gently pushed aside Mommy's long hair, and run his finger down her neck, producing a very real squeal of laughter.

Hearing their mother's shrieks of laughter made the littlest Winchesters giggle. Gabe, they had already discovered, had a mischievous soul, and it didn't take much to bring out the orneriness in him. Finding a ticklish spot on his mama - on any of his family members - was a good thing in his estimation, and it was something that once learned, he acted on repeatedly.

AJ, on the other hand, was a quieter little boy, but no less happy. He had his daddy's dimples, and he knew how to use them to effect.

Both boys enjoyed teasing their mama, and it quickly became a game the three would play; especially during the day when the rest of the family was at school or, in Robin's case, preschool.

This day, however, the whole family gathered into one large puppy pile, Sam happily on the bottom of the heap.

It was an amazing day!

Robin decided to show his mother some mercy, and stopping the torture, gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek. The babies took that as a signal to cease as well, and AJ, who was still more comfortable crawling than walking, made his way over to pull himself into Daddy's lap. Gabe stayed right where he was, looking up at his Mommy, eyes full of love.

Julia sweetly asked, "Can we have a story, please?"

Robin grinned and started clapping his hands, with Gabe following suit. "Story! Story! Story!" Robin chanted, and the others quickly picked up the cry.

Rose sat on the couch, Gabe at one hip with Robin snuggled in at her other side. "I think a story is an excellent idea, and I think Daddy should tell it."

Sam looked at each of his kids, and considered what story to share with them. There was a lot of fodder for stories, based on his life on the road with his dad and Dean, but most of them weren't fit for children's ears. There was one story he could tell that he thought the kids would enjoy. "Did I ever tell you how your mama and I met?"

Julia shook her head no, her dark curls pooling over her shoulders. "No, Daddy! Tell us!" She giggled and bounced in place, her enthusiasm evident.

"Ok, then. Get comfy." Sam tugged Jeni down to sit beside him and AJ. He shared a warm look with Rose then began to speak. "Once upon a time..."

Julia sighed happily; she loved stories that started that way.

"Once upon a time, there was... there was a knight, and his name was Sir Sam of Winchester. Sir Sam traveled all over the countryside, fighting against..." Sam looked up at Rose.

"Scary things," she said.

Sam nodded. "Your mom's right - Sir Sam fought against scary things with his brother, who was also a knight named Sir Dean-"

"-the Pushy," Rose quipped, and when Sam tossed her a mock-glare, she held up her hands. "Sorry, Daddy's telling the story. Go on, Daddy."

"Thank you, Mommy. Anyway, Sir Sam and Sir Dean traveled the countryside on a mighty black steed called 'Baby,'" Here all the kids cheered, "-and they were very good at fighting scary things. They saved a lot of people - but Sir Sam was sad."

"Why, Daddy?" Angel asked.

"He was sad, Angel, because part of his heart was missing, and he didn't even know it was gone. So one day he and Sir Dean were riding along, and they passed by a woman walking along the road-"

"And it was Mommy!" Robin crowed.

Sam held up a hand. "Ah-ah, Robin, don't get ahead of me, buddy," he winked at his son. "So Sir Sam saw this woman walking along the road, and he went like this-" Sam swiveled his head in a comical, exaggerated double-take, and the kids giggled. "Can you guess why?"

Robin didn't let his father's mild chastisement get in the way of his excitement over the story. He clapped his hands and cheerfully imparted, "'Cause he thought she was beau'ful!"

Sam snorted. He couldn't help it. "Exactly right, sport! He thought she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He immediately told Sir Dean to stop Baby so he could stand in front of this lovely lady's presence."

"Wha' that mean?" Robin asked.

Angel grunted at her brother's interruption of Daddy's story. "He wanted to stand and just look at her, silly."

Robin's head tilted to the side as he considered his sister's grumpy explanation. "Oh. Ok."

Sam chuckled, and then continued his tale. "So Sir Dean pulled Baby over so fast that she made a big SCCCCRRREEEEEECCCCH!" Sam imitated the sound of the Impala's brakes, and AJ put his pudgy little hands over his ears. Gabe, however, thought the sound was hilarious. He kicked his feet and chortled.

Jeni reached over and patted AJ's hands to calm the boy. "Then what did Sir Sam do, Daddy?" she asked.

"Well, he jumped out to meet the lady, and asked her if she would like a ride, and she said…" Sam changed his voice into a breathy, pseudo-lady's tone, "Why, thank you so much, kind Sir, I've been walking so long and I'm so very tired." Sam fluttered his lashes and the kids just about wet themselves laughing.

Rose looked a little annoyed at Sam's imitation of her voice, but she kept silent... for now, at any rate.

"So, being a very gallant knight, Sir Sam took the lady's hand and helped her into Baby's backseat. And Sir Dean, being Sir Dean, tried to charm the lady right away... but the moment Sir Sam touched her soft skin, he..." Sam's voice trailed off for a moment, and a slight flush covered his cheeks.

"He what, Daddy?" Julia asked.

Sam looked at his daughter and smiled. "He knew he had found the piece of his heart he'd been missing, Julia. So he asked the beautiful lady her name and she said," his voice going high-pitched again, "'My name is Rose.' And Sir Sam thought that that was the most beautiful name he'd ever heard."

Sam sent a long, heartfelt gaze Rose's way, his Puppy Eyes out in full force, and Rose knew she couldn't stay irritated at him. Instead, she puckered up and blew him a kiss, then giggled when he reached out and snatched it from the air and pressed it to his lips.

Angel, always ready and able to snark as well as her Uncle Dean, rolled her eyes. "Daddy, you and Mama are so silly."

Julia shook her head at her twin. "No they aren't, Angel. They're in love."

Jeni sighed dreamily. "I think it's so wonderful that Mommy and Daddy love each other so much."

Robin looked over at her and smiled. When he was a grown-up, he was going to marry Jeni and they'd be happy just like Daddy and Mommy. He knew it in his heart.

"So what happened next, Daddy?" Julia asked.

"Well... next Sir Sam and Sir Dean and the Lady Rose stopped at a diner to eat, because Sir Dean's tummy was making so much noise it sounded like there was a bear in the car with them." The kids laughed and Rose smirked - they all knew Dean's stomach could growl that loudly. "And they ate and they talked and the more Sir Sam found out about Lady Rose, the more he fell in love with her."

Sam's voice by now was low and absolutely filled with the love he felt for Rose. They shared another long look before Sam shook himself out of it and, clearing his throat, asked, "Where was I?"

Robin leaned forward and looked down at his Mama, and put a hand on her shoulder. "Sir Sam was in love."

Sam nodded. "So he was." He shifted his position where he sat, since the floor was getting hard on his butt then added, "But Sir Sam was also a little troubled," Sam continued. After all, what was a story without drama?

"Why, Daddy?" Angel asked.

"Because, my love, there were still scary things out there that Sir Sam and Sir Dean had to hunt, and... and Sir Sam wasn't sure he was worthy of the love of a beautiful woman like Lady Rose."

Angel folded her arm and grumped. "That's silly."

Sam shrugged. "Maybe it was, honey, but Sir Sam was so in love that he wanted only the best for Lady Rose. So when they stopped for the night, Sir Sam gave her a kiss - okay, more than one kiss because she was so pretty - and he went to bed. And for a while the three of them - Sir Sam and Sir Dean, and the Lady Rose - rode all over the place in Baby. Lady Rose played her guitar and people would stop and listen and sometimes give her money because she played so sweetly - and sometimes they gave her cookies and other treats which she shared with Sir Sam and Sir Dean - and made Sir Dean very happy because-"

"Sir Dean has a sweet tooth and a bottomless pit for a belly," Rose muttered, and then said "Oops!" when Sam looked at her with the "Really?" stare.

The kids giggled - Daddy and Mama were too funny!

AJ tugged on Daddy's shirt.

"Yes, AJ?" Sam asked.

AJ beamed up at his Dada. "Mo'?" he asked cutely.

"You bet there's more story, kiddo. Sir Sam knew in his heart of hearts he had to tell Lady Rose what he and Sir Dean did - about hunting the scary things - even though he was scared he'd lose her. So, he called a friend and told him they were all coming for a visit. Now this friend was a very wise, very old wizard named Bobby of Singer, and he lived in the Kingdom of South Dakota. So that's where Sir Sam and Sir Dean and the Lady Rose went to next."

Julia couldn't wait to hear the next part. She moved across the floor to sit beside her dad, and looked up at him. "What happened next, Daddy? What did Wizard Bobby say?"

Sam leaned over and pressed a long kiss to her forehead. "What do you think Wizard Bobby said when he saw the Lady Rose for the first time?"

Julia looked over at her mom and grinned. "I bet he thought she was pretty!"

Sam tossed back his head and guffawed. "I bet he did at that, honey." He looked over at Rose and chuckled even more when he caught her blushing.

"What happened next, Daddy?" Robin urged.

"Well, they all went inside Wizard Bobby's house, and Lady Rose looked around and she said, 'Goodness! I've never seen so many books in all my life!' Because Wizard Bobby had lots and lots and lots of books about the scary things that Sir Sam and Sir Dean had to fight, because sometimes Wizard Bobby fought them too. He was a very brave Wizard, after all," Sam added, and all the children nodded at each other. They all knew that Grandpa Bobby was really, really smart.

"So," Sam continued, "they all sat down and Wizard Bobby learned all he could from Lady Rose, and he thought to himself that she was sweet and nice and just the person to make Sir Sam happy forever and ever. But-" here Sam dropped his voice and the children all leaned closer, even the toddlers, "he knew that she had to know about the scary things. So he asked her a very important question: He asked her what she believed in."

Sam looked at Rose, his voice soft and gentle, and asked, "And what did Lady Rose say to that?"

Rose matched his loving look with one of her own.

Rose said, her voice soft and gentle as she remembered the conversation, "Lady Rose said that there were lots of things in the world that people couldn't explain, and all of man's science couldn't explain, so when strange things happened, she said that she believed they could be caused by all sorts of things."

"Was that the right answer, Daddy?" Angel asked.

Sam nodded, smiling. "It was exactly the right answer, Angel-face. So, Sir Sam took a deep breath, and he told her about all the scary things that he and Sir Dean hunted. And when he was done, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop in the room."

"And then what happened, Daddy?" Robin squeaked. The suspense was killing him!

"And then... the Lady Rose looked at Sir Sam and she said, 'You told me these things because you trust me.'

Sir Sam nodded and took her into his arms and said, 'I told you because I love you and I want to keep you by my side.'

She... she smiled at him and she said, 'I love you too,' and gave him a great big kiss.

And right then Sir Sam could've faced every scary thing in the whole wide world - because he'd found the missing part of his heart and he felt a hundred feet tall."

Julia sat next to her father, tears coursing down her cheeks. When she gazed up at him and Sam saw his little girl's tears, he frowned. "Why are you crying, sweetheart?"

Julia wiped the wetness from her face. "'Cause I want to love like that someday."

Sam felt his own eyes well up. He reached out and pulled her daughter close. "Oh, honey - you will, I promise you that. But you know what?"

"What?"

"Even if, by some chance it doesn't - and there's no way I can see it not happening - you'll always have your mama and me and the rest of your family to love you like that, ok?"

Julia thought about it then nodded. "Ok. But I still want it from someone like you, Daddy."

"Julia... oh, my sweet little Birdie." Sam gently kissed his daughter and cleared his throat, trying to will away the tears. "So... who can guess what happened next?"

There was silence for a moment then Angel piped up with, "Sir Sam and Lady Rose got married an' lived happily ever after?"

"Well... it took a little bit of time, but... yes, Angel, that's just what, happened. Sir Sam took Lady Rose to be his wife and they came to live in the Kingdom of Kansas... and they were very happy, but their castle was a little too quiet... so who can guess what happened next?"

Robin bounced up and down on the couch, waving his hand wildly. "Oh, I know, I know! They called the angels, an' he brought them two babies!"

Rose blushed…

…and Sam tossed his head back and roared - trust his son to get right to the point. Wiping tears of laughter from his eyes, Sam nodded. "Yep, son, that's just what happened - and the angels kept bringing babies until Sir Sam and Lady Rose had a whole houseful! And they -"

"…all lived happily ever after!" chorused the children, even AJ and Gabe; although from them it came out more like babble, the thought was still there.

Sam looked around the room, from his wife to each of his darling babies, and he knew that this story would always have a happy-ever-after ending, because... all stories that begin with, "Once upon a time," always ended with "...and they lived happily ever after!"

and they lived happily ever after...

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