DISCLAIMER: I do not own Supernatural or any of its characters, just borrowing them ;) Also do not own "Hey Jude," all rights reserved. A little something lighter, since a lot of my fics are rather angst filled. It's also something different from my usual style. Hope you all enjoy!
The little boy, no more than six or seven, sat on a park bench, a small bundle wrapped in a blue and white striped blanket in his arms. The infant was wailing incessantly, and the older boy tried desperately to calm the child, gazing apologetically at the other visitors who walk by with looks of annoyance on their faces. Jesus, you go to a park to get some damned peace and quiet, and you run into Turbo Lungs. Seriously.
"I'm sorry," the boy muttered, desperately trying to calm the screaming newborn. He can't rely on any parental help: his father had died when his mother was four months pregnant with little Zach, and the grief had driven his mother to the bottle. It was up to him to take care of his little brother, and normally, it was a pleasure. At least, it was when Zach wasn't screaming his lungs out.
"Come on, buddy, it's ok. I'm here, little man. Don't cry." The baby looked up at his older brother with big, tear filled eyes, and the older boy felt his heart breaking. It was bad enough that his Daddy was in heaven and Mommy had left them alone, but to hear his baby brother crying was too much. A tear threatened to fall from the boy's soft, brown eyes, but he blinked them away. He was a big boy now, he had to take care of little Zachary, and he couldn't do it if he was being a big baby, now could he? Swallowing the lump in his throat, the boy began to bounce the infant lightly, singing the lullaby that his mother had sung to him when he was very little:
Hey Jude. Don't let me down. Take a sad song and make it better…
And as if by magic, the baby quieted, and gently began to coo, clinging at his brother's finger with its chubby little hand. The boy smiled, relieved that the baby had settled, and continued the song in his sweet, but off key voice:
Remember to let her into your heart. Then you can start to make it better.
"That's right, Zackie," the boy smiled, planting a gentle kiss on the baby's forehead. "I'm gonna be here for ever and ever so you don't need to cry." The baby smiled, a childish gurgle escaping from his lips, and the boy felt his heart warm despite the chill of the October morning. "You'll always have me. I promise."
Dean hadn't intended to eavesdrop on the little boy sitting on the bench, but the sight of the child trying to calm the wailing child (his brother?) drew him over, despite the fears that his actions could frighten the boy away, or his parents. Christ, where were the parents anyway? Who leaves two little kids alone in a park anyway? The same kind that leaves their children alone in skeevy motel rooms for days at a time? Dean quickly scanned the park, which was by now nearly deserted. Not an adult, or potential caregiver, in sight. For a moment, he considered walking away, not wanting to risk being wrongly accused of abducting children (or worse). But the sounds of the baby's wails, and the little boy's desperate attempts to quiet him, were too much for Dean. Been there, done that, kiddo, he thought, and found himself, despite any red flags warning him against it, walking to the pair.
And he almost froze.
Remember to let her into your heart. Then you can start to make it better.
"Hey, Jude." The song his mother had sung to him as a lullaby when he was still a young boy. For a moment, Dean's eyes moisten at the memory.
"Are you ready for a bedtime story Dean?"
"No." The little boy protests, snuggling close to his stuffed teddy and shaking his head vehemently. He knows what he wants, and it isn't a story.
"Are you sure, honey? I happen to have your favorite story nearby." Mary pulls out a worn copy of Goodnight, Moon, Dean's favorite, but the boy continues to shake his head, a huge grin on his face. "Sing to me, Mommy," he begs, and Mary smiles, setting the unwanted book on Dean's nightstand.
"Alright, Dean," she says, and softly, in a beautiful, clear voice, sings her favorite song: "Hey Jude". The boy grins, his stuffy pulled tightly against his chest, as Mary goes through the entire song twice before finally settling her son into bed.
"Alright baby, it's time for bed." Mary pulls Dean's race car comforter up to his chin and plants a gentle kiss on his forehead. "Night, Dean. I love you."
"Mommy?" The little boy looks up at Mary expectantly, and she smiles warmly.
"Good night, sweetie. Don't forget, angels are watching over you."
Dean didn't realize that he had been lost in thought until the little boy looks up at him, a curious expression on his tiny face. "Hey mister, you ok?" Dean blinks, realizes he's been staring at a kid for a few minutes. Great. Now he really looks like a creep.
"Mind if I join you?" he asked, and settled down besides the boy when the child nodded his approval. "That your little brother?"
"Yeah." In a defensive tone. Gee, I wonder where he'd heard that before?
"Sam Winchester is a cry baby! Cry baby, CRY BABY!"
"Am not!" Sam stomps his foot and tries not to prove his tormentors right, but feels the tears threatening to spill from his hazel eyes.
"Are too!" The school bully shoves the five year old hard, and Sam tries to fight back, but the eight year old bully easily overtakes him. Just as he's about to push the little twerp again, another boy sneaks up from behind, and Sam smiles.
"Nobody messes with my little brother." Dean quickly gives the bully a threatening look, and Sam's tormentor runs away in fear. Dean grabs little Sammy by the hand and leads him to another section of the playground. "Come on, Sammy, let's go."
"Thanks, Dean. You're the best big brother EVER!"
"Where's your mom or dad?" Dean hated to ask, but to see children that young alone rather unnerved him. He knew the shit that was out there, supernatural or otherwise, and for two kids to be alone in the park was not a safe option. But the boy merely shrugged his shoulders, still bouncing the baby on his lap. Dean wisely dropped the subject. He knew all too well the pain of having complete strangers ask him where his mother was. It hurt. Still does, even in his 30s. Obviously the pain would be much worse for this little fellow, he had to be no more than seven.
"What's your name, buddy?"
"Jude," the boy muttered, and Dean felt a lump forming in his throat. Mistaking Dean's look for confusion, the boy quickly justified his mother's actions. "My mommy's favorite song was 'Hey Jude'. That's by The Beatles," as if Dean would never be able to recognize who had recorded the iconic song. She named me after the song and sang it to me as a lullaby. At least before Daddy died." Jude surprised himself with how open he suddenly was with this complete stranger. But the man only smiled sadly at him.
"My mom used to sing that to me too," Dean said softly, "only she never named me after it." Jude smiled, and Dean continued. "Every night she'd sing it. Sometimes I'd want the lullaby over a bedtime story." He smiled at the memory. "She died when I was four and my little brother was only a bit older than yours."
"You're a big brother too?" Jude asked, incredulous. "Was it really hard taking care of him? Because Zach does nothing but cry an' cry. And Mommy can't really help out much."
Dean felt his heart break for the kid. He knew how hard it was to take care of a baby, and at four, no less. "Yeah, it was tough," he admitted, "but worth it. I always felt that it was my job to protect Sammy, and so most of the time it never really bothered me. Except for changing his diapers." Jude made a face, clearly disgusted. "Eww. I hate changing Zachie's diapers." The boy's smile faded momentarily, and he felt like he was about to cry again. "But it's so hard. He's always crying, and I think he's 'lergic to his food 'cause he's always spitting it up. Mommy has to go to the doctor and get somethin' else. And he keeps me up at night and I have to make sure he doesn't get hurt…" Jude sighed, and for a moment looked at his baby brother with resentment. Sure, he loved Zachie, but sometimes he hated the burden.
"It's not easy, kid," Dean repeated, and for a moment, Jude looked down, no longer bouncing the tiny bundle in his lap. "It was hard for me, too. I was the one to feed him, bathe him, put him to bed. But I promise, your little brother is going to be the best thing to happen to you. I'd do anything for mine." Jude looked up, smiling at Dean. "Me too," he said lovingly, pulling baby Zach closer. The child cooed again, melting his older brother's heart. "Me too."