These Dreams (SN,XO,UC, Adult) (Complete)

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DMartinez
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Post by DMartinez » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:00 am

Part 60 – The Next Day
(April 23, 2011)

Liz looked up from where Missouri was installing the sashays in the walls. She’d have Dean plaster them in later. Maria and Michael were arguing over what to have for lunch. She had blocked them out an hour ago. John… was at the shop with his dad, no doubt picking up bad guy habits even though he could barely do more than sit propped up on a pillow. She hoped that Dean would leave him in the carrier and that he wasn’t exposing him to dirty exhaust valves.

They all heard the car pull up at the same time. Liz moved to the window and tilted her head when she counted heads. Jesse and Isabel and the babies in car seats but there was one more. Isabel, looking impossibly thin, took one child and handed her off to her father, then unstrapped another baby. And then the ten year old emerged from the backseat, backpack slung over one shoulder, and his father’s posture about him. Liz’s heart skipped a beat when that mop of dark hair was tossed just like Max had once done.

“Holy shit.” Maria whispered from right beside her. “I guess that’s what her surprise was.”

“I’ll kill her.” Michael growled and was out the door before anyone could stop him. They watched Isabel refuse to acknowledge any of Michael’s chastisements. Jesse just moved passed them to the door.

“Hi.” Liz greeted him with a hug and took a moment to ooh over the little girl in his arms. A sleepy one-year-old. A moment later, the boy walked in and glanced around.

Jesse cleared his throat. “Isabel will explain all of it when Michael is done with her but… Liz, this is Adam Douglas. Adam, this is Liz. That’s Maria Guerin.”

“This is Missouri.” Liz gestured, her eyes on Adam. “Missouri, this is Jesse, Sophia and Adam.”

“Darling babies, everywhere.” Missouri swooped in. “Such… interesting… flavors.”

“That’s one way of putting it.” Liz offered her a smile. “Come in, everyone. Get relaxed… I think Michael and Isabel will be going at it a while.”

“I’ll go retrieve Alex.” Maria excused herself.

Silence took over the cottage for a moment. Adam tossed his backpack on the ground and took his time to inspect the small home. Then he eyed Liz up and down. “You the lady that was married to my biological father?”

“Yeah.” Liz nodded. “You want to see a picture?” The boy only shrugged. Liz moved to her nightstand to retrieve the picture that Max had drawn. She stared at it for a long while before passing it to the boy. “He drew that.”

“Wow, he was pretty good.” That was the only comment he had after looking at it for a moment or seven.

Isabel walked in and hugged Liz, ignoring the seething Michael on her heels. “I know I should have warned you but… I didn’t know how.”

“It’s okay. We were just…” Liz shrugged and looked to Michael. “Think you could go grab Dean and John?” Michael didn’t have to be asked twice, he stormed out.

“So, Liz, I hear you’ve acquired a business.” Jesse cleared his throat. “I’m sorry to hear about your friend, though.”

“Yeah…” Liz nodded and ran through the introductions once more. Then again when Dean appeared with John and Kyle in tow.

Isabel cooed over the baby, letting her own children wander all over the cottage. “God… and I thought Dean couldn’t get any prettier and look at this.”

Dean scratched his ear, turning a shade or two of red. Liz grinned up at him. “So, um… we’re all here.”

“Right…” Isabel took a deep breath before handing the baby to someone else. Jesse was busy getting bottles and dinner ready for her little clan. “Adam and I had some long discussions about who we all are… but I don’t think I could do any of the other stuff justice.”

“Aliens. Right.” Adam rolled his eyes.

“I know how you feel, kid.” Dean muttered. Then he realized that all eyes had settled on him. “What? I’m just saying… when I heard it… I didn’t sleep for two days.”

“He didn’t.” Liz shrugged. “I guess I’ll catch you guys up on what happened here… what’s still kind of happening.”

“Two days.” Kyle snorted. “I didn’t sleep for a month.”

--

Sam and Dean were sharing a quiet moment on the hood of the Impala when the footsteps came near to them. “Cool car.”

“Thanks, kid.” Dean nodded to him and jerked his head back to the cottage. “So, what do you think of that mess?”

“It’s stupid.” Adam shrugged. “They all look at me like I’m gonna start a killing spree or something.”

Sam laughed and looked to his brother. “Nah… trust me… that’s not how they look at you.”

“My parents were aliens… what’s your damage?”

“Hitting those teen years a little early, huh.” Dean commented and sucked in a lungful of cool spring air. “Our dad was a hunter.”

“What did he hunt?”

“Ghosts.”

“So, all that crap in there was real?”

“Real enough that I got this.” Dean lifted his shirt to show off his shoulder. “Iron poker went all the way through… and trust me… it wasn’t a linebacker that did it.”

“Did you know him?”

The question hung in the air for a long while. Just when Sam was going to say something, anything… Dean opened his mouth. “Yeah, I knew your dad.”

“He wasn’t my dad.” Came the indignant reply.

“Look, it sucks about what happened to your folks.” Dean cleared his throat. “I’m sure they were real nice people and everything. Your dad, though… the guy that gave you up… He didn’t want you getting hurt.” His eyes sought out the junked out cars around them. “I’ve got plenty issue with… Your dad was a good guy. Best that I’ve met in a long time. I could trust him and I don’t trust too many people.”

“You were there when he died?”

“Yeah.” Dean nodded.

“And you married his wife? Dude, that’s not right.”

“Listen, you little…” Dean had to calm himself down. That’s just what the little punk wanted. Any excuse to get the hell out. “It wasn’t like that.”

Sam slid off the hood and motioned for Adam to follow. He knew he needed to let Dean collect himself and he needed to have a word with the kid. When they had reached the other side of the cottage and a rusted pile of a car that used to be the Impala. “Do you know what this is?”

“Frame for a car like the one over there.” Adam shrugged.

“Yeah… Dean almost died in the backseat there.” He pointed. “My dad… got stuck in the passenger seat. I was the only one conscious when they airlifted us to the hospital in Rutherford. So, Dean and I… we know what it’s like to lose parents. We don’t have any. I get the attitude. Dean does, too, but you’re pushing all the wrong buttons. You’ll piss him off. He’s likely to be the only friend you’ll ever need. Don’t get on his wrong side.”

“So, it didn’t cross your mind that maybe he let my biological dad die?”

“I was there. They were friends. Dean… wasn’t the same after Max died. That was even before Dean knew that Max was an alien. You don’t think he feels a little guilty being with Liz?” Sam swallowed down a lump. “I spent most of my life… outright hating my dad. He loved me so much… he gave his life for Dean… so that I could have someone I trust to make sure that I didn’t go darkside and start killing people.”

“Dramatic, much?”

“Yeah, maybe… you said those people in there look at you like you’re going to go on a spree? I look at myself that way. Dean and Liz are the only things holding me together right now. They trust me even though there is something inside me that’s evil.”

“Isabel’s going to leave me here.” Adam stared off into the junkyard.

“Did she tell you that?”

“Just a feeling.”

“You get those feelings a lot?”

“No one ever listens to me.”

“Like who?”

“My parents.” Adam was young but his tone wasn’t. “I knew that train wasn’t right.”

“Just a feeling?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe you talk to Liz about your ‘feelings’ or whatever. She has visions.”

“Oh yeah?”

“She sat in this car here…” Sam pointed to it. “And felt Dean dying… years after it happened… before she found out what really happened that day. Go on. Go in there and ask her something that she shouldn’t know.”

--

“My parents want him to spend the summer with them but… I think he should stay here. I mean, after all that happened and what…” Isabel thought about her brother trapped between worlds and the bile rose in her throat. “Maybe we’re not the ones to take care of him.”

“Shouldn’t he be in school right now?” Liz blinked at Isabel. When she saw the look on Jesse’s face, she realized how serious Isabel was.

“There’s a six weeks left. If you get him registered next week, he shouldn’t have too many problems. He’s only in the fourth grade. If anything, he’ll be ahead of the class.” Isabel rushed on. “Liz… I want him. I see him and I see Max but…”

“We’ve got our hands full.” Jesse supplied. “Phillip and Diane want to take him but after hearing about this Demon business. They wouldn’t understand that or know how to take care of him and frankly… I’m scared.”

Maria watched them all pace. Missouri was the one to speak up at last. “They’re right. If this Demon is gunning for you, he’ll hit where you’re weakest. If he wants the boy, he’ll take the boy. Dean and Sam are equipped to deal with him. You were planning to move into the bar’s apartment, anyway. There’s plenty of room for him.”

Michael cleared his throat. “If this was alien stuff, I’d make Isabel keep the kid… I might even insist he stay with me for a while but the kid doesn’t have any powers… Dean could teach him that… ghost crap.”

“So you’ve all made this decision for me? And for Dean?” She realized that he had escaped some time ago. “It makes sense, sure. I’m not ready for this.” She ran to the door and opened it. “Dean!”

“Chica… I hate to say it but he’s safer with you until Dean and Sam figure out how to kill this thing.” Maria agreed.

“We have to discuss this with Dean, first.” Liz motioned him inside the cottage and quickly gave him a run-down.

“That kid hates us.” Dean informed her.

“It’s not about being his friend.” Isabel stepped up. “It’s about keeping him safe and providing for him. Once the Demon business is over with… Mom and Dad will take him.”

“It’s not like there’s an expiration date on the Demon. My dad tried his whole life. We came damn close this last time but he knows our tricks now.” His shoulders felt like they were going to break from the load that had landed on him.

Michael let out a whistle. “This is the system reject speaking but did anyone think to ask the runt what he wants?”

“Senor Dynamite and I rarely see eye to eye but I think he’s right.” Kyle offered.

--

Liz pulled Dean with her as she approached Adam. Bobby had the boy entertained with helping a dog he’d rescued. She looked to Dean, who shrugged. “Where’d you get that one? He makes Rumsfeld look like Dubya.”

“Anyone asks? I got him on the side of the road. Adam, here, was helping me think of a name.”

Adam gently rubbed the dog’s head behind the ears. The dog was mean-looking and had seen better days. His ribs stuck out against his fur and the cuts on his back were telling. Mostly, he looked tired. “His name used to be Dumbass. I don’t think you should keep calling him that.”

“Me either.” Bobby nodded to the boy. “So, who does this kid belong to?”

Dean watched Adam gently lift the dog’s head to lie in his lap. When the kid looked up, his eyes immediately went to Bobby. He got that. He’d done it a time or two, himself. Dean nudged Liz. She stammered but answered the man. “Adam is Max… Nathan’s son.”

“Really?”

“Max gave him up for adoption and his parents passed away not long ago. Isabel claimed him.” She chanced a look at the boy. “We were actually asked if we might want to take him… because of all the business that’s been going on. Here being the best place to defend him if need be.”

“I guess I understand that.”

“Though, we figured… we’d ask Adam what he wanted.” Dean knelt to examine the abused dog. “What do you say?”

“About what?” Adam scowled.

“Staying here with us.” Dean gave the dog a gentle rub down with his hands. “We were about to move across the street. You’d have your own room. You could help us out with the baby… Bobby goes out of town sometimes. He would need someone to feed the dog.”

“Think I could do that, Mr. Singer?”

“Mr. Singer.” Bobby snorted and got down on one knee to join the party. “Call me Bobby, kid. Yeah, I could use a reliable man to help me nurse this guy back to health. You hang around enough; I’ll put you to work… just like I did this one when he was your age.” He jerked a finger at Dean.

“Maybe we spend the week showing you around.” Liz offered, arms crossed in front of her. “Show you the schools… Stan’s girlfriend might know where kids your age hang out.”

“Why would you want me around? Aunt Isabel told me about what my biological mom did.” Adam’s hazel eyes were wide and round when he turned them up to the adults.

“Listen… I know far better than anyone the things she did.” Liz took a deep breath. “You’re looking at three people who knew your dad. Who trusted him. That’s enough for us.”

“Max is a good name for a dog. It’s simple. He’d learn it.” Adam mused.

“You’re right. Good name.” Bobby’s flicked to Liz, who only shrugged.

“Well, come on. Let’s get you squared away. We got an extra bed you can crash on until we get moved into the bar.” Dean clapped the boy on the shoulder.

Liz took Adam’s hand to help him up but by the time he got to his feet, Liz was on the ground.

TBC... heehee see y'all next week.

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DMartinez
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Post by DMartinez » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:30 pm

Part 61 – Same day – Liz’s Visions
(April 23, 2011)

Dean glanced over his shoulder. “Serena, I swear to God, if you don’t stop mixing your Sarah McLachlan with my Scorpions, I’m gonna…”

“You’re gonna what?”

“This Lilith Fair shit… is not music.”

“That’s not what you were saying last week.”

“I was drunk last week.”

“You’re drunk every week.”

--

Liz backed up against the wall, her arms crackling. “Kivar.”

“Liz.” Came the answering growl. “About time we met… I hear that you’d like to speak with your lover… come closer and I’ll send you to meet him.”

--

“Mom.” Cassie rolled her eyes.

“What? He never brings his family with him.” Mrs. Robinson hissed.

“Did you ever think that maybe not all families are as close as ours is?”

“We’re close.” Dean cut in, a scowl on his face. “My father is passionate about his work and he’s in the middle of something right now. So, he’s not coming.”

“I thought you also had a brother.”

“He’s got finals.”

--

“Who’re they?” Max read his newspaper.

“Some friends of Marty’s.” Liz rolled her eyes and rubbed her aching back.

“What happened to them?”

“The brother died.” She shrugged. “Marty said he was going to open a tab for them and something about it not closing. I sense a brawl.”

“Oh yeah?”

“They’re in pretty bad shape. The dad’s arm is in a sling. The son’s face is all cut up… they’re… grief stricken but I think any wrong look is going to start something.”

“How about you work the bar and I’ll bus the tables?”

“Maybe.”

“Hey, um…” A mop of shaggy hair over a bruised face appeared next to Liz at the bar. His brown eyes weren’t focusing on them. “My dad just opened a tab… Marty says that it’s unlimited but… I need you to water his whiskey.”

“I don’t know…” Liz looked to her husband.

“I know it’s a lot to ask. Marty is an old friend of ours… My brother died a few days ago and my dad is looking to start shit… and I can’t lose him, too.” The brow furrowed as he fought the tears. “I’m not going to drink… so maybe I can stay on top of him but… he’s over 50 but he never got the hint that he was supposed to wind down in his old age. I don’t want trouble but um… I need to keep him out of the slammer until after… the…”

“Okay.” Liz nodded to him. “I’ll even talk Marty into helping you with that.”

“Thanks…”

--

“Carmen! Your fucking cat is in my shorts again.” Dean yanked his shorts out from under the furry bastard.

“He likes the way you smell.” Her voice joked from the other room. “He does it because he knows you hate him.”

“Keep him out of my shorts.”

“You don’t mind when I’m in your shorts.” She leaned around the corner, the sash from her robe in her hands.

His eyes ran up and down her body. “Sweetheart, you’re the only pussy I want in my shorts.”

“You’re a pig, Dean Winchester.”

--

Kyle rubbed his wife’s belly. “Three weeks.”

“Of hell.” Liz griped. “Dad’s been talking about signing over the Crashdown again.”

“Liz… maybe you should just take it easy this time.”

“I was working full time right after Olivia was born.”

“Yes and you also nearly collapsed from exhaustion.” He reminded her.

“What am I supposed to do?”

“You don’t need to work.” It was the same old argument.

“Yes, I do. I can’t just sit at home with the kids and wonder if you’re going to come home tonight or tomorrow night or if I’m going to see a deputy cruiser pull up front and Soltero with his hat in his hands.” She forced herself to take a breath. “You always said you didn’t want to become a cop like him… and when he died… that’s exactly what you did and I supported it because you needed it.”

“And I appreciate it but I need to know that you’re not going to work yourself into the ground.”

“I have to keep busy, Kyle. Olivia and James and this one are going to keep me busy but one day it’s just going to be you and me again and... I don’t want to resent you because the only thing I know is raising children. Maybe I need the Crashdown, too.”

--

Dean looked up when Sam walked into the room. Sam nearly leapt out of his skin. “Dude!”

“Hey man…” Dean gestured to the couch he sat on. “Your roommate said I could crash here, tonight. He’s going to… whatever.”

“Where’s Jess?”

“The blonde? Um… making me some tea or something.”

“What’s up, man?” Sam grew more concerned the more Dean avoided speaking. “Is Dad in town, too?”

“No… Um… I left him in Nevada.” Dean’s brow furrowed.

“Dean, here you go.” Jess walked in, balancing a coffee cup, a sandwich and a bag of chips. “I figured you were hungry.”

“No, but thanks.” He took the cup of tea and actually liked it when he tasted it.

“Okay, Dean, you’re freaking me out. You’re here, in the daytime… without Dad… you just turned down free food and you’re drinking tea.” Sam looked to his girlfriend. “When did he get here?”

“Just a little while ago.” Jess sat beside him.

“Look…” Dean took a deep breath. “Dad… just got married.”

“What?” Sam blurted out.

“Yeah… um… she’s your age, actually.” He ran a hand over his short hair. “I thought he was possessed or under a spell and I tried everything and I called everyone. It’s the real deal… and I should have called you when it happened but… I just figured he’d sober up and realize what he’d done but… He’s been sober a month and he’s still with her and… Jesus Christ… Um… She’s friggin’ hot and… married to Dad.”

“How… um… huh.”

Dean reached into his jacket and produced a picture. “It’s disgusting is what it is.”

“Oh my God.” Jess breathed out. “Are you sure she’s even legal? She looks really young.”

“She’s 22 and she’s got a bachelor in something… I don’t know. I’m not calling her ‘Mom’.” Dean scoffed and got to his feet. “I’m at my wit’s end, man. He just showed up at the hotel and said he’d gotten his own room with his new wife and…”

“So, is this it? Is he gonna stop running around?”

“No. Get this… he says she’s a psychic and they’re gonna run around together.”

“Is she a gold digger?” Jess cut in.

Both Winchesters snorted. Sam tried not to be too condescending. “Dad… he’s a con artist. He works both long and short cons to make ends meet.”

“I, uh… kind of introduced them.” Dean admitted. “I didn’t know the psychic shit. I just… I was making a play for attention… you know?” Sam rolled his eyes that he knew what his brother was trying to do with this girl. “Dad strolls into the casino and tells me there’s a job for me to do… I got up and left and Dad sat to finish my beer…”

“And then they got married?”

“Yeah.”

“He could easily be her father.” Jess made a face.

“Which is what I said.” Dean nodded that it had occurred to him as well. “I never thought he’d do more than get hookers, man. He married someone younger than his youngest son. I think he’s finally lost it.”

“What’s her name? Maybe we’ll find something on her.” Sam looked to his brother.

“Liz--- Elizabeth Parker Evans Winchester… that’s how Dad introduced her to me.”

--

“Max!” Liz pulled her husband off the gambler.

“He was asking for it.” Max bit back a snarl.

“Can’t a guy have some fun?” The gambler got to his feet.

“I let you get away with counting cards all night. Take your winnings and walk.” Max cracked his neck. “You talk about my wife that way again… and you won’t walk at all.”

The gambler leered at Liz with green eyes. “Too bad, sweetheart. You and me… would’ve had a real good time.”

Liz felt a jolt when he brushed passed her to leave. She touched his arm. “Be careful. Your brakes are almost worn down and there’s a sharp turn on your way out of town.”

“Concerned about me?”

“No.” She shook her head. “You’ll live but your brother won’t survive the impact.”

Clearly shaken, Dean turned and left the bar. He always hated Racine.

--

“Jess!” Dean called out, nearly running into the blonde as he turned the corner. “Mom wants you.”

“What does she want?” Jess hefted a two year old into her arms.

“I dunno… I didn’t ask. Hey…” He furrowed his brows as he looked her over. “Actually, maybe she wants to adopt you. There’s a space that just opened up.”

“A space?”

“Didn’t you hear? Dad disowned me last night.”

“He did not. He was just pissed. You know how your dad gets.”

“How who gets?” Sam came up behind Dean. “Sweetie, Mom wants to talk to you about the thing.”

“What thing?”

“The thing.”

“God…” Dean rolled his eyes and walked off, sipping his beer. “I’m never getting married.”

“It’s just Thanksgiving drama, Dean!” Jess called after him. “You’ll be back in the will by Christmas!”

“What?” Sam frowned at her.

“Dean thinks your dad was serious about disowning him.”

“Jess, the guy stole the Impala… traded it for start up money, lost half of it and conned his way into getting the damned thing back. Dad is tired of his shit.”

“He loves your brother. Dean thinks he’s really pissed. Dean is ready to walk. Go talk to your brother.”

--

Max looked up from his meal to see a familiar face. Vague memories of high school flew through his head. He nodded to his nod as a greeting, then went back to his dinner with his family. Twenty minutes later there was a shadow over the table. “Sorry to interrupt folks but… you look familiar.”

“We went to high school together.” Max answered, waving off his son’s interested look.

“Evans! Right.” He pointed to his name tag. “Kyle Valenti, obviously. You haven’t been in town a long time.”

“Yeah… I kind of took off right after graduation.”

“Right, right.”

“This is my son, Adam. My wife, Ava.” Max made the introductions. “We… just got back to town. Visiting my folks.”

“How are they doing?”

“Good. Dad’s retired. Mom is going crazy.”

“He was a lawyer, right.”

“Your dad… he’s not still sheriff, right?”

“Naw… he’s… away.” Kyle shook his head and glanced around. “Roswell sure has changed since we were kids, huh.”

“Especially this place. I was telling Adam about it and he didn’t believe me… and there’s no proof to back me up.”

“Yeah… well… The Parkers moved away five years after… after Liz…”

“Right…”

“The new owners are nice people but… they aren’t familiar with that which makes Roswell famous… they didn’t get the aliens.”

Adam snorted and sipped his coke, wary of his mother’s stern eye. Max flicked a glance at them then back up at his former classmate. “It’s not the same… but… it never was after… Liz…”

“You got that right.” Kyle took his coffee from the teenaged waitress that brought it to him. “Well, I’m on duty. Y’all enjoy your dinner and stay in Roswell. Do my best to keep it safe.”

When he was gone, Max looked to his ‘wife’ and son. “I hate this town.”

“Who was he really?” Adam sat up.

“Some jock from school. We hardly knew each other.”

“He dated the girl they were talking about.” Ava supplied as she shoved a huge bite of ice cream into her mouth. “She died in here.”

“Really? Somebody died here?” Adam bounced in his seat.

“You’re a morbid kid.” Ava commented.

“He gets it from his mother.” Max sneered at the memory of that woman. “Yeah, someone died here. She was a kid… not much older than you. A bullet killed her. I knew her. She was my lab partner. Smartest girl I knew.”

“Did you date her?”

“No… she was taken.” He motioned for them to finish up. “C’mon. Mom and Dad want to finish the long lost son talk with me and I want to get it over with.”

--

“John! You can’t keep riding him like this!” Liz threw a glass at her boyfriend’s father’s head. It shattered on the edge of the overhang on the porch.

“Watch it.” He turned. He didn’t yell but his tone was unmistakable. His boots crunched on the broken glass. “Until you, my son was just fine doing his job.”

“Until me, he didn’t know the difference between living his life and working the job.”

“You’re just a girl. You don’t think he’s got them all over?” He smirked at the look on her face and crossed the lot to where his son had parked the car.

She stilled. She knew about Dean’s sordid past with women. “This is different.”

“Tell yourself that.”

“I’m pregnant, John. You gonna take my baby’s father away? For what? A demon that you can’t beat?” She crossed the lot to stand up next to him. “I know what Dean is. I’ve never had any illusions about us but you’re going to take him away from what he could have… because why? Because you can’t let him go? You can’t let him make his own decisions?”

“Dean doesn’t do anything that he doesn’t want to do.”

“Unless you order it done.” She countered. “You know it’s true. If you ordered him to never see me again, he’d walk. He loves you more than anything in this world and… it shouldn’t be a bad thing except that he puts your love above everything else in this world. Above his own needs… Let him go.”

“Hey… what’s going on?” Dean strolled into the lot, slowly. He had clearly just missed something.

“Mount up. We’ve got a job to do.” John ordered his son without taking his eyes off the slight girl in front of him.

“Dad?” He blinked at his father then looked to his girlfriend. “Liz?”

“You don’t bring him back so I can tell him myself… and I will light you up.” Liz turned to face Dean. “You call me when the job is done.”

“What the hell?” Dean’s eyes whipped from her to his father. Then she had stormed back to her apartment over the store where she worked. Arms raised, he shook his head at the night. He finally gave up and started for the Impala’s driver’s side. His father rested his hands, clasped, on the roof of the car. “Sir?”

“Hey, Deano… um…”

“Deano? You haven’t called me that since…” He trailed off, laughter dying as soon as it had started.

“You would tell me if you couldn’t do the job anymore, right?”

“Why couldn’t I do the job?” His back stiffened as he searched his memory for any reason his father might think he couldn’t do the job.

“If you didn’t want this life…”

“Dad? What’s going on?”

“Maybe you sit this one out, huh? I’ll call Jefferson to meet me.” John pushed away from the car.

“Dad! Come on. Let’s go. You’ve been hounding me since this morning about this job.” Dean rounded the car to catch up with his father.

“Maybe Sam had the right idea.” John admitted to his eldest son. “Maybe expecting the two of you to just… fall in was too much. I… I got to live my life. School, jobs, wife and kids… you two…”

“Dad…” Dean’s voice cracked. He’d never seen his father like this.

“You stay. I’ll call Jefferson. I’ll talk to you when I get the job done. You give me your answer then.”

“What answer?” Dean watched helplessly as his father walked away. “What the fuck is going on?”

--

Dean tossed back the shot. His father was stewed right next to him. Sammy… his ashes were blowing in the wind but they had stopped it. It was over. They could move on. How they were supposed to do that without Sammy… Damn, the kid was only 17.

“Give me a beer and… a shot of something to knock me on my ass.” A female voice spoke to his left. Dean didn’t look up when he felt her eyes on him. “Dude, you look like I feel.”

“Not interested.” Dean bit out.

“Someone kill your puppy?”

That time, Dean did look. She looked like shit. “Someone kill yours?”

“Yeah.” She took her shot and threw it down. Signaling for one more, she knocked that one back before gulping half her beer in long swallows. “I’m Liz.”

“Dean. My dad.” Dean gestured over his shoulder at his father, who was staring down the bar unsuccessfully. Damn bar kept winning. “John, on a good day.”

“Shit… HE looks how I feel.”

“Passing through?”

“You offering a ride? Cause I can’t drive anymore.” She waved her beer at him before finishing it off.

“How old’re you?”

“Old enough.”

“Liar.” Dean sniffed into his beer.

“My… boyfriend died.” Liz shifted her backpack on her left shoulder. “Dropped out of school. I have freaky dreams.”

“My brother died… he was supposed to graduate in a month.” He exhaled into his glass a moment before tossing it back. “You got a place to stay?”

“Not so much.”

“Come on. Help me get him to the room and you’ve earned your right to a bed, tonight.”

“I don’t do tag team.”

“Sugar… I couldn’t get it up right now, if I tried.” Dean shoved himself to his feet and gripped his father under the arms. “Let’s go, old man.”

John almost did a slump to the ground when his feet hit, Dean slipped an arm over his shoulder. Then Liz slipped under the other. Together, the three of them walked down the street to the run down motel where Dean was fairly certain they still had a room. He let them in and set about getting his dad settled. Yanking off his boots and getting his jacket off. Grabbing the trashcan, he set it beside the bed and hoped his father would remain on his belly for the remainder of the night.

When Dean sat on the other bed, he felt her tense up. After a long moment, his eyes fell on her fidgeting hands on the hem of her blouse. Her mouth found his but… he really didn’t feel like it. When he pulled away, her voice wavered. “I’ve never done this before. He died before… we could—“

“Hey, seriously… I don’t care.” Dean pushed her hands away. “Get some sleep. I promised you a bed and… I meant it. I’m not gonna sleep… so… you take the bed.”

“Can you give me a ride to the next town?”

“Sure, get some sleep.” Dean tucked her in, the way he had done with Sammy all those years living in shit motels. He took his watch at the little table. Watched age and grief drift away from their faces in sleep. Hard sleep. He wished he could sleep.

--

Max stroked her face. “He’s okay.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, Isabel’s sitting with him right now… He’s scared of you.”

“Why?”

“Because you had a fight.”

“He’s my son, too, Max.”

“I know. I know… just… go easy on him. It was just a car accident.”

“I just want to see if he’s okay.”

“He is. I’ll get Marty to put the fear of God in him later.”

“He’s 15, Max. He’s not supposed to be stealing cars and wrapping them around poles.”

“I know. I’m going to have a talk with him later but today… today, just.”

“Okay. I’m ready.”

--

“You’re not happy!” Dean exclaimed at her. “I don’t make you happy. I don’t know how!”

“If you want to leave, then leave!”

“Don’t blame this on me! I’m trying but I am not cut out for picket fences and a two car garage. You knew that from the beginning. I’m not Max.”

“Shut the hell up. Don’t drag him into this.”

“Right, like I’m the only one in this freaky ass relationship with issues.” He muttered about her ex-husband.

“Just leave, Dean.” Liz sank down next to the crib. “It’s what you’re good at!”

“Fine.” He grabbed his gun and his jacket. “Fine.”

--

Max peered into the glass at his son. His mind raced with names. He couldn’t decide on one. He needed to. He was convinced that if he gave their son a name, and he told it to Liz… that she would pull through.

“That your boy?”

“Yeah.”

“I remember doing this once.”

Max turned to the voice. A grizzled man in his fifties. “Grandkid in there?”

“Nah… not yet. Maybe someday.” The man shrugged, his arm in a sling. “My son’s up in the ICU… got him on a machine… I just… needed a break. Got another son running around here, somewhere.”

“Sorry to hear that.” Max nodded, his gaze turning back to his son. “My wife is in surgery. Complications. I haven’t named him yet.”

“Pick a strong name.”

“I’m Max.” He held out his hand.

“John.” The stranger took his hand in a firm grip.

“Dad. There you are.” A tall lanky figure rounded the corner. “They said they’re moving Dean to his own room, now.”

“My younger boy, Sam.” John nodded to the man who had just joined them.

Max shook his hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“Come on. Let’s go.” Sam took his hand back.

“Just a minute.” John held his hand up. “Look, I can’t say whether she’ll live or die… but… listen for her in your head… you’ll pick the right name.” He stared at the young man, long and hard. He was no older than Sam. Dean was 27 and he wasn’t married or having kids. Dean was fighting for his life. “Just… try to do right by the boy. It’s all you can do.”

“Yeah, thanks.” Max nodded. He watched his sleeping boy. “Dean, huh. Good strong name. Liz might like that.”

Sam suddenly got what he’d walked into. He calmed and let his father finish what had been started. John looked to his son. “What do you think? We go back to Dean with a story that some kid got named after him and he’ll wake up?”

“He is a little vain.” Sam scratched at the back of his neck.

“He names the boy Dean, then we tell our Dean… he wakes up, then we send him in to talk to the mom…” John teased.

“Who knows, he could sweet talk her into waking up, too.” Sam finished.

Max let himself laugh a little. “Hope Dean wakes up.”

“Hope your girl pulls through.” John patted him on the back and climbed back into his wheelchair for the ride back to his older son.

--

“Johnny is sick.” Liz sniffled into the phone. “We admitted him to the hospital in Baxter for observation.”

“Is he gonna be okay?” Dean sat down, his knees weak.

“I don’t know.”

“I’m coming.” He hung up the phone, then took a minute to get his bearings. He looked to his brother. “You kill this son of a bitch then you get your ass to Baxter.”

“Dean?”

“Just do it. I need to go.”

TBC

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Post by DMartinez » Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:14 pm

Part 62 – Two days later…
(April 25, 2011)

Liz finished reading through her handwriting. It was hers and not John’s. She had spent a day writing and then another day sleeping. There were so many visions of things that had never happened and would never happen but they were in her head and touching Adam had released them.

He had it inside him. Somehow, somewhere, Adam was truly his parents’ son. Antarian energy ran through those bones, in his veins. So, she was not totally surprised to find him hovering on the other side of the table. He picked up a notebook and scanned through the information. “You really saw this stuff when you touched me?” She nodded. “Anything about me?”

“Some.” She flipped through a few pages and motioned him to her side of the table. “I want you to keep in mind that I’ve read through all this and none of this has come to pass, nor will it ever.

“Then why did you see them?”

“I don’t know yet.” She opened the notebook to a page where she and Max had raised Adam together. “I only wrote down what I saw but there was so much more that I felt about each vision. In this one… you had just turned 15. You and I had a fight… you stole a car and tried to run away. You had an accident and were afraid of what I was going to do when I found out.”

“What did you do?”

“Hugged you. I was so glad that you were okay.”

“You don’t even know me.”

“No, I don’t. Not in this world.”

“So, this didn’t happen, why?” Adam turned his eyes over and over the scene but he didn’t even have a tingle of anything.

“Different circumstances. Max and I never met any of the Winchesters, we never found out about the demons and Kivar never came to Earth.”

“You didn’t have your own children…” Adam frowned as he realized that he was the only child mentioned.

“You’re right.”

He flipped the page and read it. “In this one… you’re a doctor and you have six kids… and I’m just one of them.”

“Yeah.” He flipped another page and his eyes widened. Liz ripped the notebook out of his hands to see what he’d read. “Yes, Dean’s a potty mouth… and if I ever meet this Carmen person, I’m going to have to rip her hair out.”

“Nice.” Dean nodded from across the room, then he tipped his head back to glance at them over his shoulder. “I think I like you jealous.”

“Shut up.” Liz glared at him.

“You think I’m sexy, you want my body.” Dean sang as he flipped through the six channels they had.

“Well, it is all you’re good for.” She raised an eyebrow at him and crossed her arms. It took a moment for her words to sink in.

“Hey! I’m useful.” He rose and tossed the remote aside. “I am a breadwinner. I am a demon hunter. I… am a wonderful father.” He stalked over to her. “I am loving and caring, damn it.”

Liz tilted her head back to look at him. “Don’t forget pretty. You’re pretty, too.”

Yanking her up by her waist, he pulled her against his body. “What was that?”

“You’re pretty.” She felt her knees weaken when he nuzzled her neck.

“Pretty… I’m not sure I like that word.”

“Beautiful?” She hung from his neck.

“Try again.”

“Striking.”

“I can deal with striking.” He cocked an eyebrow. “Maybe.”

“What do you want from me?”

“Pretty is not an adjective for men.”

“I am so sorry, Mr. Macho. Ruggedly handsome, then.”

“Damn straight.”

“There’s a child in the room.” Adam called out as he wandered across the apartment with the notebook, eyes glued to the script scrawled on those pages.

“Yeah, Dean. There’s a child in the room and you’re being inappropriate.” Liz cleared her throat.

“Kid’s gotta learn somehow.” Dean licked his lips and straightened up but didn’t release her.

Adam stopped and turned to face them. “My dad used to say that. When he was getting gross with my mom.”

That sobered them a bit. He looked like he might cry but he took a deep breath and rubbed at his eyes. Dean set Liz back on her feet and motioned for Adam to follow him. “Hey, come on. Let’s go see if Bobby needs help with Max.”

--

Kyle sat down at the bar and watched Liz organize the bottles so that she could reach them all without a step stool. Then he took note of two shotguns hanging over the bar. “Nervous?”

“A little but Missouri is still working some mojo. Or hoodoo… I forget which is the correct term.” She sighed and sank down on the stool she had used while she was pregnant.

“You think it’s going to keep you safe?”

“I hope it does.” She nodded. “In a few days, it’s going to be my home, too.”

“I hope you don’t feel that we bullied you into taking Adam.”

“A little.”

“I wouldn’t have insisted if I didn’t honestly think you were the best person to take him in.” Kyle leaned on the bar to make sure she was listening to him. “I’m going to help. He’s Max’s kid… so he’s family.”

“Yeah.” Liz nodded and laid a hand on his arm. “Thank you, Kyle.”

“You know… when I told you to complicate your life a little… I meant ‘a little’ and not…” He motioned around him.

“Some of it could not be helped.”

“Some of it, sure… but this invention of a latex penile sleeve to prevent conception… it’s been around a while.”

“Maria gave me that talk.” Liz admitted. “But… I could not imagine not having Johnny.”

“He is pretty cute.” He took a breath. “You know… Michael raked me over the coals for not preventing you from getting involved with Dean. They’re okay right now but Michael was pissed.”

Liz nodded, silently. They were prevented from further speech by the arrival of the Ramirezes with two screaming babies and the Guerins. Michael had the same scowl he’d been sporting since setting foot in Valor Springs again. It was odd to see the gang gathering at the bar after so long. Two and a half years after Max’s sacrifice and life had changed; made abundantly clear when the Winchester men walked in with Adam in tow. Adam was excitedly throwing mock punches at Sam, daring him to fight back.

“Dude, he’s twice your size.” Dean snorted, holding John against his chest. The baby happily sucked on his fist. “Sam eats burgers bigger than you.”

Liz watched Adam gravitate to Jesse, who absently laid a hand on his shoulder while nodding to Maria and keeping up with the conversation. Babies got passed around for hugs and pinches. Kyle nudged Liz and flicked his head to Jesse. “Guess he’s the favorite uncle already. So not fair.”

“Hey… Adam?” Liz called out. “There are three rooms on the right… upstairs. Maybe you go pick one out.”

“Ours is the second one on the left.” Dean told the boy as he took his son back from the pinchers. He slid onto a stool next to his wife. When Adam had dragged Jesse up the stairs to pick out his room, Dean cleared his throat. “He saw me and Sam sparring… he wants to learn, now.”

“You do the physical training. I’ll do the mental training.” Kyle nodded. His gaze flicked to Liz. “You can do the coddling thing.”

“He’s a child… not a science experiment.” Liz cut in.

“He feels like one.” Kyle’s eyes slid to the side. “I… uh… can feel him pretty strongly. I thought I was pretty… naturally empathic and… being around that kid is like being jacked into an antenna.”

“Yeah.” Liz nodded. It was a pretty good metaphor for what she’d done when she’d touched him. All these doors in her head that had been cracked just enough to make their presence known had been blown wide open when she’d touched that kid.

“Isabel asked yet?”

“No, but she’s going to and I… it’s hard to wrap my mind around it.”

“What? The whole… ‘my first husband’s spirit is saving my ass from demons’ or something?” Dean cut in.

“You have such a way with words.” Liz rolled her eyes at him. “But yes.”

“You going to number them?” Kyle teased. “’This is my first husband. And this is my second husband… both dead. This is my current husband… he’s not an alien or a demon hunter… but he has a kind heart.’”

“Shut up. Only we get to joke about that.” Liz motioned to herself and her current husband. “It’s not funny, even then.”

--

Isabel stared at the wall of photographs. The smile on her brother’s face made her own face split. Max laughing with someone who wasn’t in on the secret. Having fun like a normal person. To think that it would be three years in the fall… Wiping at her eyes she shifted her gaze to pictures of young Marty and the stories behind those pictures that she would never hear. She felt Liz stand next to her. “A lot has happened in so short a time. Kivar’s gone. Max is gone. Marty is gone. Adam is here. You’re remarried and we’ve both got kids… Michael is married.”

“Kyle’s in love.” Liz nodded, casting her friend a glance over her shoulder. Betty Lou kept close to Kyle, as if the others had come to take him away.

“When does this crash course begin?” Isabel turned to gaze around the room.

“When Missouri gets back.” Liz nodded. “She’s the expert. She went to get some supplies.”

“Liz… was it really Max?”

“Yeah.” She nodded. “I wasn’t sure at first… but he touched me and… helped me heal Dean.” She let out a nervous laugh. “I had the strangest urge to say ‘awkward’ while he was in the room. It was him. I could… almost smell him. There was so much ozone in the air that it smelled like rain for a week.”

“Where do you think he is?”

“He’s not in hell.”

“But not in heaven? Why?”

“I wish I knew. He’s not haunting anyone that we can tell. I don’t know if it’s his consciousness or his soul but it’s… between the worlds, I think.” Liz turned back to the wall to gaze at Max’s face.

“How… um…”

“Apparently Dean was ordered to take care of me. I don’t know if Max approves but he didn’t turn into a poltergeist and come throw stuff at Dean. Apparently disgruntled spirits can do that.” She cast a glance over to her husband and wondered what was going to happen in the next few months. If he would develop any alien powers or if their son was in danger. Could they keep both John and Adam safe?

“Are you okay?” Isabel asked softly.

“Yeah. I’m okay. A little freaked out by the whole thing but… I think we’ll be fine. Missouri’s fixed up the bar and it should be safe enough… Extra protection upstairs.” Liz pointed to the doors and windows. “Dean’s devised these little lips for the windows and little troughs for the door. We’ve just got to remember to keep up the salt.”

“How weird was it? I mean… It’s Max.”

Liz stared at her (former)sister-in-law for a long time before she answered. “Max was the love of my life but he’s dead. Coming to terms with that was hard. You know how hard it was… It’s not that I don’t love him anymore. I mean… You know what I mean, Isabel.”

“Yeah.” Isabel nodded. “I know.”

“I’m freaked out. Everything is so… precarious right now. I go out of my way not to pick a fight with Dean. I… we fought so much because… our priorities were different. They’re not that different anymore but… I love him and I don’t want to lose him. Every step has been some kind of battle and I’m tired of it. I want it done. I want demons gone and aliens…” Liz wiped at her eyes. “It killed me to see Max. It did because it means that he’s not at rest and after everything… he should be. He shouldn’t still be struggling and fighting this battle with us. We should be able to take care of it without him.”

“That’s what we’re doing now.” Isabel tried to reassure her.

“God, and when we fight… I say the most awful things to him and I can’t do that. I can’t cause what if he gets called on a hunt and I never see him again.”

“Liz, calm down.” Isabel put her hands on her shoulders. “That’s why we’re here… to learn to take care of ourselves.”

The door swung open, admitting Missouri. “Look at all these people. Well, at least we’ll only have to go over it once.”

--

“Why don’t you help your wife cook?” Missouri smacked Dean with a dishcloth.

“Hey!” Dean cracked his neck and gestured with the baby in his arms. “I have my duties. She cooks and I feed him.”

“He takes out the garbage and gives him a bath.” Adam offered from where he was examining a pre-test for his new school.

“Do you like broccoli, Adam?” Liz glanced over from her small stove. She already missed the bigger one from her cottage.

“I guess. Mom always made me eat it.” The boy shrugged.

“Where’s Sam?” Missouri glanced around, the answer popping to the fore of two minds and giving her the answer before either Dean or Liz could open their mouths. “He’s with her. I see.”

“She seems nice. Drives Sam’s nuts and anyone who can do that is cool in my book.” Dean adjusted the bottle as John became overly interested in other people in the room.

“Dean, get a spit cloth before you burp him.” Liz cautioned as she began finalizing the meal’s preparation.

“He’s not going to spit up. Little guy has been holding his meals for three weeks now.”

“That’s your favorite shirt. Keep that in mind before you make a decision on a spit cloth.” She cautioned as she began dishing up plates.

Dean opened his mouth to say something but Missouri was already putting a spit cloth on his shoulder. Sure enough, midway through his burping process, John sent a load of sour-smelling yuck onto his shoulder and had the nerve to grin about it. Dean just shook his head at the women on the other side of his table and set John bouncing on his thigh as he started his dinner.

Sam walked in and sat down as if he wasn’t late for dinner and he didn’t have his hair sticking up at odd angles on his head. Liz raised an eyebrow and flicked her gaze to Dean, who took a sip of his beer and seemed almost to be proud of his brother. Missouri, on the other hand, had no intention of ignoring Sam’s appearance or tardiness. “Boy, is your watch broken?”

“I got stuck in traffic.”

“I know where you got stuck and it wasn’t in traffic.” Missouri hit Dean with her dishtowel before the smirk could fully settle.

“I was on time!” Dean frowned and adjusted John’s position on his thigh. “Hit him.”

“I can’t help it that my girlfriend lives a two hour drive away.” Sam tucked into his meal. “And for the last time, Serena is a nice person.”

TBC

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Re: These Dreams (SN,XO,UC,Mature) Pro-Ch. 63 1/5/08

Post by DMartinez » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:50 pm

Part 63 – Two days later…
(April 27, 2011)

Michael sat next to Liz but didn’t say anything. She was too busy going over her budget and examining her inventory. His crate was uncomfortable but he didn’t say anything. Liz finally set her books down to look at him. “How’s married life treating you?”

“Maria’s harping on me to get a better job. You know. Same old.” He shrugged and leaned back against the wall.

“Did you guys move into that duplex the way you were talking about before Christmas?”

“Yeah…” He nodded slowly. “That… uh… time you were in the hospital with the baby. Maria… she thought she might be pregnant. She didn’t say anything to your folks or to you because…” He scratched at his eyebrow and finally just let his hands drop to his thighs. “If John died and she was pregnant… she didn’t want you to be upset.”

“Okay…”

“She ended up not being pregnant… and I…” Liz watched Michael as he struggled for his words; for his lies and half-truths. “We’re not ready for kids. My job sucks and your parents can’t afford to pay Maria more. We don’t even have our own house. It’s half a house and I swear to… you know, whoever, that I’m not raising a kid in a trailer park.”

“You wanted Isabel to ask you to take Adam.”

“Maybe.”

“Why didn’t you say something?”

“I don’t know. I know that I’m no good with kids. Isabel’s kids always bite me when I hold them. Your kid threw up on me this morning.” Michael shrugged. “Adam would probably hate me. It would figure. Max and I were always fighting.”

“Max loved you and you know it. You were his brother.” Liz shook her head at him.

“Adam’s already got a favorite uncle and I just… kind of figured that Max’s kid… you know… I would get some props, you know?”

“So, you’re jealous of Jesse?”

“If you tell anyone I said that…”

“You didn’t say that.”

“That’s right.” Michael finally cracked a smile. “Dean’s not so bad, I guess.”

“He thinks Metallica sold out on Load.”

“But we agree that St. Anger rocks.” Liz joined him in a laugh. It was ridiculous. Liz barely even liked Metallica. She was just used to it. Michael caught her up on some Roswell gossip. Liz caught him up on Valor Springs gossip. He cleared his throat. “So that Missouri woman… she’s okay.”

“Yeah.”

“She kind of freaks me out. She just stares at me.” He fell silent for a moment. “I miss Max. Maria yells at me because I don’t talk about him. Sometimes I feel like someone cut my arm off and even though I know it’s not there… I keep… reaching with it.” He took a deep breath. “I kind of feel like Maria doesn’t understand and it makes her mad but… there was just a few other people like me in this world… and two of them are dead. Rath… I hope he’s dead. That would make me and Adam the only male aliens left. Little Alex is only half. Who knows what Johnny’s got up his sleeve?”

“Michael…” Liz whispered and didn’t quite know how to bring it up. “Dean… he’s been healed. I don’t know how close to dead he was going to be. I didn’t have time to… Max and I healed Dean… before we shot… Do you think he’ll become like me and Kyle?”

Michael sat up and leaned on his knees. “You know… when Max died… I kind of steeled myself for becoming an asshole again. It didn’t happen. Something is going on. Something alien and I don’t know what it is. I can’t put my finger on it. Valenti is getting a little empathic. I don’t think he’s noticed. If there is something alien going on… we need a leader and… you and I know that I suck at that. Dean is good at that kind of thing… so if he… shows signs of being juiced… then maybe it’s not a bad thing.”

Liz could feel herself sinking in on herself. Putting more pressure on Dean… seemed so unfair. After all he’d been through, after all that he fought for, to put him at the head of a potential alien army. Then she snorted. She clapped her hands over her face.

“What?”

“No… it’s…” Liz lowered her voice. “It just hit me. Sam’s got… some demon blood apparently. It’s barely active and he’s trying to keep it that way. Now… Dean may or may not have some alien juice?”

Michael shook his head and let out a laugh. “Okay, yeah. That’s kind of funny.”

“Don’t tell him though. He’s already on edge with everyone being here.”

“Remember when Kyle found out he was the reason we kept thinking we were being followed down that trail?” Michael let out a laugh. “That was great.”

“Yeah, funny for you. I’m the one he decided to have his little rant with. Two hours of him freaking out and having all my pencils rolling away from me.” Liz did laugh because Kyle’s magnetism had shown up at a later date and that rant had included a bizarre hula dance with a steak knife and a crowbar.

--

Dean leaned over Adam’s shoulder. “Good hand.”

“My dad says that every rule you need to know about poker, you can learn from The Gambler.” Adam frowned and cleared his throat. “He said. Said.”

“My dad said that every rule about poker comes down to a man’s face.” Dean winked at him. “Learn to bluff with your face, not your words.”

“No gambling.” Isabel reached over and plucked the cards from Adam’s hand.

“He’s got to learn.” Bobby interrupted. “He’s going to live above a bar and there’s going to be quite a few games this fall. Abel owes me a game.”

“Yeah, Aunt Isabel. I have to learn to bluff.” Adam whined but let her leave a lipstick smear on his forehead.

“Well, let’s see what these guys have got.” Jesse took a seat and waited to be dealt in.

“I don’t play poker with lawyers.” Dean cleared his throat, setting his cards aside.

“Well, I don’t play poker with Liz.” Jesse cast the woman a look from where she was going over the new schedules with her staff.

“Well, that’s good enough for me.” Dean picked up his cards again.

“He kicked her ass.” Kyle told Jesse as he sat down to join them.

“Oh come on… it was pretty close.”

“No, it wasn’t.” Kyle shook his head.

“So maybe we don’t play for cash.” Jesse cleared his throat. “Ever beat Max?”

“We didn’t ever play.” Dean shook his head, his mood sobering. “Liz never let him.”

“Maybe you clobbered Liz on a good night but Max would cream me every time.” Jesse snorted as he recalled the strained relationship he’d had with the man before they had all scattered on the run.

“Cause he cheated.” Adam piped up and instantly quieted.

“What’s that?” Kyle tilted his head at the boy, his instincts priming themselves and feeling the confusion and awkwardness surrounding the boy.

“He used to cheat.”

“Really?” Dean arched an eyebrow. “How’d he do that?”

“Changed the cards.”

“Mother—“ Jesse cut himself off. He knew, now, that Max could change the appearance of things. “You mean all that time?”

“Well, it makes sense.” Kyle nodded. “I always knew Saint Max got his kicks in sick, demented ways.”

“Yeah, well… guy like that… entitled to his own twisted fun.” Dean cleared his throat and folded his cards. “I got diaper duty.”

Adam stared after Dean for a long moment. Bobby cleared his throat. “Don’t mind his moods, kid. They aren’t about you.” He took the deck of cards from Kyle. “Come here. Let me teach you the winning hands. You can worry about The Gambler stuff after you learned which hand beats what.”

Isabel wandered back over, sitting next to Adam, to watch the boy learn the rules. She watched his face in awe as pieces of her brother drifted across his face and just a hint of annoyance when she saw Tess in him as well. Ruffling his hair, she left another lipstick smear on his face. She rested her hand on his opposite shoulder and her head on his. He didn’t shake her off. Progress. She watched Dean change John’s diaper with an expert ease that even Jesse hadn’t developed through two babies. Watched his easy grin as he picked up John to stand on the bar. The little feet only held purchase for two or three seconds at a time but if his grin was anything to judge by, both father and son were having a good time. Liz climbed onto a stool to kiss Dean over the bar. They seemed to have a brief serious discussion and then suddenly Liz was laughing and swatting him over the bar. She tried to take John from Dean but he gathered the baby into his arms and backed away.

Missouri finally intervened and made off with the baby. After a moment of staring at each other, they settled onto bar stools, side by side. They didn’t talk for the longest time. Just seemed to enjoy the other’s company for however long they had the quiet. Like best friends. Isabel stared and stared and that’s when she got it. The things that Dean and Liz had in common where not things that could be easily measured. It came in character and strength and priorities. It wasn’t about sharing favorite songs or foods or hobbies, it was about sharing the sacrifice. Building a life from the shreds of the one they had known before.

Isabel tore her eyes away when their eyes hooded. Private conversations didn’t need voyeurs hanging around. Adam set his hand down. “Full House.”

“Yep, that it is.” Bobby nodded and glanced at his cards one last time. “Good job, kid.”

--

Liz watched Missouri pace the kitchen with John before taking the seat next to Dean at the bar. An easy quiet fell over them. Easier than in the past. No fidgeting or staring only when the other wasn’t looking. Quiet time. Adult time. God, it had been forever since they’d had some quality adult time. She slid her eyes over to him. He was watching her the same way. Through his eyelashes at her, the corner of his mouth twitching upward.

Her hand found his, squeezing lightly and never disengaging. His fingers tightened on hers, keeping them joined against his thigh. Their hands inched their way over the top of his thigh. Her eyes dared him to take it too far. His eyes dared her to yank her hand away. Arching her eyebrow, she flexed her index finger against his inseam.

“Behave, children. Now’s not the time to be making more babies.” Missouri cautioned as she walked up behind them, causing Liz to collapse against Dean’s shoulder in a fit of giggles. Dean glared at the psychic, shaking his head. “Use rubbers and common sense.”

John began fussing in her arms and no amount of pacing, soothing words or rocking would calm him. Dean stepped in and took the cranky boy into his arms. “It’s naptime.”

Dean paced with John as he finally calmed down. Missouri took his seat next to Liz. “That song. Dean’s remembered it after all these years. His momma taught him that song. It’s the only part of her that he’s got left.”

“And those eyes and those freckles.” Liz added.

“He’s still got those pictures, good.” Missouri nodded. “I don’t suppose there are wedding pictures.”

“Um, yeah.” Liz nodded. “Upstairs. We’ll get them down and send Sam out to make some copies.”

“Tell me the truth about that floozy.” Missouri narrowed her eyes.

Liz arched an eyebrow at Missouri. “All I know is that she tried to pick up Dean a few nights before John was born. Dean introduced them at the hospital and they’ve been attached at the hip ever since. She’s been good for him.” She cleared her throat meaningfully. “I’m not her biggest fan but… Sam’s happiness is worth more than my jealousy. The demon’s taken two of his girlfriends. Dean says he’s never seen Sam like this. I want him to be able to keep it for as long as he’s able.”

--

Isabel tutored Adam in the ways of fitting in; the ways of acting normal when normal was anything but. How to fit in where people knew everyone and distrusted outsiders. She sat on his bed with him and stroked his hair. “I want you to listen to Dean and Liz. Help out. You can call whenever you feel like it.”

“What if I don’t want to stay here?”

“I know… it sucks. I suck for leaving you here but it’s safer for you.”

“What if they hate me?”

“They couldn’t hate you.”

“Dean’s okay I guess but… what about her?”

“She can’t hate you. She’s not capable of hate.” She reassured him. “Tell you what. Tomorrow, I will take you to the school with Liz. We’ll get you settled in and then we’ll leave. Okay?”

“Do you have to leave?”

“Yeah. We do. Jesse and I will miss you.”

Dean cleared his throat as he walked in. “Don’t mind me… I’m just checking the windows.”

“Liz already checked the salt.” Adam stared up at Dean as the man traced symbols marked on the windows.

“Never hurts to double check.” Dean unlocked and relocked the windows, examined the lines for breaks and opened the nightstand to make sure the silver butter knife was still there.

“He’s safe here, right?” Isabel fidgeted as Dean’s inspection took longer and longer.

“Oh yeah… just making sure. I was doing these checks in my sleep when I was seven… but alien boy here is new to the routine.” Dean ruffled the boy’s hair. “Mini-Max will get the hang of it soon enough.”

“Don’t call him that. He has a name.”

“Yeah. My name is Adam.” The boy scoffed and swiped a hand over his hair to fix the damage, only to make it worse.

“Reveille, bright and early. I’ll do the manly advice thing at breakfast.” Dean tapped the doorframe as he left.

“Check on the baby.” Liz called after him before entering Adam’s room. “Settled?”

“Yeah, I think so.” Isabel nodded. “First night in the room.”

“I’m fine, Aunt Isabel.”

Isabel blinked back the wetness. “He sounds like Max when he whines like that.”

Liz only nodded to herself. She didn’t know Max when he was nine. She had to admit that Adam had genetically inherited a lot of Max’s mannerisms. “Night, Adam.”

“Yeah, get some rest, sweetie. We’ll see you in the morning.” Isabel kissed his forehead as she rose. The two women left the door cracked before heading downstairs. They settled around the table in the kitchen where Jesse was trying to keep both babies quiet and Sam was polishing off his dinner. “So… I looked up some tutors and a piano instructor…”

“You’re going to turn him into a geek.” Dean proclaimed as he joined them, fiddling with a baby monitor.

“I don’t want him to stand out too much at school.”

“That’s not the way to do it.” He shook his head.

“Cause your way is so much better.” Sam mumbled around a mouthful of food.

“I’ve had experience.” Dean cleared his throat.

“Yeah… I’ll bet the same approach flies in prison, too.”

“So what if it does?”

“And that doesn’t bother you?”

“Sam, finish your dinner and rinse your plate.” Liz cut in.

“What’s Dean’s first day of school plan? Find the bully and beat him up?” Isabel gestured to the elder Winchester.

“Pretty much.” Sam nodded.

“What Sam doesn’t know is how I found the bully. He was usually the guy who decided to pick on Sam within an hour of starting school.” Dean shrugged and Sam just stared at his brother through the revelation. “After that… school was a breeze.”

“You went around beating up my bullies for me?” The younger Winchester frowned.

“Well, Mr. Pacifist, talking to bullies never actually works in practice.”

“You are not to instruct my nephew to get into fights.” Isabel pointed a finger at Dean.

--

Dean didn’t like it. He was too far from everything. He actually preferred the tiny cottage with no separating walls and no stairs and no privacy and a shower that could pass muster on the space shuttle. He missed just crossing the room to look at his boy. The crackling of the baby monitor with John’s breathing was little comfort. He felt Liz shift beside him. There was an upside. He could shut the door and fuck his wife if he wanted to; his wife who was talking forever to come to bed.

Taking her sweet time to put on lotion and to comb her hair and wearing some… really hot nightgown that he had never seen before. It all smacked of conspiracy… not that he would mind… if the whole of the apartment weren’t a strategic nightmare. “Since when do you wear nightgowns to bed?”

She peered over her shoulder at him. “Since we added a number to the household and my walking around in a towel or one of your shirts is no longer acceptable.”

“I think we need to discuss this new dress code.” He reached over to drag her to him. “It was not run by me before all these changes were put into effect.”

“Are you trying to appeal the dress code?”

“Yes, I am. I’m bringing the matter back to the table because…” he rolled on top of her and nudged the gown upward. “I’m not sure I like this new clothes-to-bed clause.” He used his nose to nudge aside the scooped neckline for better access to her skin. “All these new obstacles to learn.”

“Can’t have you all complacent on me.” Her teeth caught her bottom lip in her mouth as his mouth opened over her skin. Everything was moving along just as planned until an unfamiliar creak met her ears.

“Dean? Liz?”

In the scare, Dean banged his head on the headboard and nearly racked himself on Liz’s knee when she jerked and yanked the sheets up. Rubbing his goose egg, Dean composed himself. “What’s up, Adam?”

“Um…”

In the last week or so, Dean had never seen the boy at a loss for words before. It was obvious that the boy was scared but he refused to talk about it. “Let’s go check the lines in your room, again, huh?”

Liz took a moment to compose herself, fix her nightgown and then followed the short trip down the hall. She stayed in the doorway as they worked side by side to make sure that every line Dean had checked two hours before was still there. She watched Dean teach Adam how to draw a sigil on the window with holy water. Adam glanced up at Dean. “So, nothing’s getting in?”

“Nope.”

“All this stuff… keeps out the demons… but what about the aliens?” Adam stared at his wet hand and not knowing what else to do with the excess, wiped it in his hair.

“Well, we got the town pretty rigged. Kyle’s always got an eye out and Liz… her visions come in handy. We hardly ever get jumped without some kind of notice.” Dean motioned him back to the bed. “You hear anything weird, you call out for me, okay?”

“Okay.”

“Everything okay in here?” Liz whispered.

“Fine, just reinforcing the perimeter. Can’t be too careful.” Dean winked at Adam.

“Right.” Adam cleared his throat. “Nothing to see, here. Move it along.” He climbed into bed and pulled the sheets up to his chin. “Can you close the door? I don’t like open doors.”

“Yeah, buddy.” Dean made sure the closet door was shut and a working flashlight sat on the nightstand. “Get some sleep. School tomorrow. Bullies and chicks.”

Liz let the door close with a click. The apartment was really dark. She would have to do something about that. She took one of Dean’s hands in both of hers and pulled him back to their bedroom. “You’re really good with him.”

“He’s a punk ass… reminds me of me.”

She shoved his hands away when they tried to lift her gown over her stomach. She caught the light switch as they passed and tried to pull him down onto the bed but he was bound and determined to see the gown in a heap on the floor… with the lights on. “Dean, get the light.”

“Mmm-mmm.” He shook his head as he finally got the damned thing off. “Nope. Gotta see all this.”

“You don’t have to see the fat belly, turn off the light.”

“Fat belly… this is not fat… this is… badge of honor. Sexy badge.” His lips dragged across the flesh, not nearly the deformity she was making it out to be. “Trust me… Not really into chicks with guts but this… this has a story behind it. It’s…” his mouth made its way up to her neck, teasing and taunting. “You were wearing the jeans, the low ones and the belly was… just over it and I wanted to…”

“Dean, you’re not even making any sense.” She gripped his chin to lift his eyes to hers.

“It’s like… ownership. Proof of purchase. My baby used to be right here.” He laid a palm flat against her stomach. “It’s pretty hot.”

“You’re a dork… a chauvinistic dork at that.”

“Oh… you’re all… round and curvy like Ava Gardner…”

“Shut up.”

“I’m serious. You have no idea how much you’re turning me on.” He grinned lasciviously as she continued to squirm in his grasp.

“I’m fat. It’s not a turn on.” She glared up at him.

“You act like you still have a watermelon front and center… this… is not that. Nope.” He dipped his head down to stop her protest. “Liz. Shut up.”

TBC

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Re: These Dreams (SN,XO,UC,Mature) Pro-Ch. 64 1/12/08

Post by DMartinez » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:49 pm

Part 64 – One week later…
(May 4, 2011)

Adam studied the tool box then asked Bobby what each and every tool was for. Dean caught the swipe of a hand over the eyes. Bobby might gossip like an old woman but he kept his own secrets like Fort Knox. Singer and Sons had a ring to it and it just proclaimed Singer Salvage on the sign. Dean took a breath, then cleared his throat. “Annoying, ain’t he.”

“You can say that again. How many times do I have to tell you that I’m not a babysitter?” Bobby grumbled softly so Adam couldn’t hear and be offended by the half-hearted complaint.

Dean resisted for all of five minutes. “Bobby… how old were your boys?”

“Pete was my youngest… he passed on when he was ten… He’d always been sick. South Dakota winters can be hard… My second wife and I… we didn’t know what to do without him, so we split up.”

“Your youngest?”

“David was 15… blamed himself for his mom and me splitting up. Truth was, we was never good together… Anyway, he ran off. Got himself possessed… Did some bad things. That’s how I met Pastor Jim.” Bobby shrugged. “I all but run your daddy off when he come around with you boys.”

“What stopped you?” Dean watched Bobby’s face carefully.

“You and that smart mouth.” He snorted and reached for his flask. “Never seen a boy with a mouth like yours… calm a man like your daddy.”

“Me? Not Sam?”

“Sammy was too quiet. Sure, he asked questions but left on his own, he was quiet. You were loud. Running all over everything and barking with the dogs. John called you out and it was like you died, it went that quiet.” He shrugged and cleared his throat. “I’d’ve shot John inside the first ten minutes I met him but he went from an asshole to a father before my eyes when you came in to interrupt… asking for diapers or something.”

Adam stared up at them. They had forgotten he was there. Bobby snorted and spat on the ground. “I’d never met a grown man with a 7 year old for a best friend. Ticked me off but you had earned it. You were the only counsel to ol’ John’s ear.”

“Dad said as much to me once… I didn’t believe him.” Dean shoved his hands into his pocket.

“Yeah, well… think about the kind of friends he’d made…”

“Yeah…” Dean cleared his throat against a lump. “C’mon. Liz wants us washed up for dinner like a Stepford family.”

Adam put the rest of the tools away and jumped to his feet. He kept glancing up at Dean during the short walk to the bar. “All these people… Your friends… They talk about your dad but what about your mom?”

“None of them ever met her. She died when I was little. When my dad was more of a stay in one place kind of guy.”

“But you remember her?”

“Yeah… more now, actually than when I was growing up… as backward as that sounds.”

“I remember my mom and dad but not my… real parents.”

“Guess that’s tough… not like you really could. Liz says you were nine months old or something.”

“Aunt Isabel never told me what happened when they had me.”

“When who had you?”

“Max.”

“Ask Liz. She was there. She’d know.”

“She’s pretty nice.” Adam furrowed his brow. “I don’t know if I want to ask her questions about my biological parents though.” He shrugged when Dean cut him a sideways glance. “I’d like to keep her nice.”

--

Liz set an extra plate at the table, glaring at Sam all the while. “I don’t mind.”

“Are you sure?” He gripped a chair and followed her with his eyes as she moved around the little kitchen. “Because it kind of seems like you do.”

“It’s fine.” Liz shook her head and went to retrieve her husband from the back room.

“Hey.” Dean glanced up from his knife and whetting stone.

“Fuck me.” She demanded.

“What?”

“Right now.”

“Here?”

“Yes.”

Dean flipped his whetting stone closed and nodded while he sheathed his knife. “Okay.”

--

Dean sat at the table grinning, his hair standing on end. Sam rolled his eyes. “No tact.”

“What?”

“Nothing. Never mind.”

“I’m in a good mood.”

“Yeah, we know.”

“And I’m in a good mood… so we’ll forgive him this once.” Liz arrived and brushed her hair out of her face.

Adam rolled his eyes as he plopped down in his seat. “Yvette wants to know if I can play at her house tomorrow.”

“Yvette, sure.”

Adam glared. “Why can I go to her house but not Jerry’s?

“Cause I don’t know Jerry’s parents.”

“You’ve only known Yvette’s for a week.”

“Not true.” Dean shook his head. “I’ve known them for years. Ask Yvette.”

“What time is she getting here, Sam?” Liz cut in as she began placing serving dishes on the table.

“She’ll be here soon, I swear.” Sam jumped up from the table and ran outside to peer down the street. “She’s never been to Valor Springs before.”

“Calm down. Girls don’t like desperate guys.” Adam crossed his arms and looked to Dean, who nodded.

“You, stop taking advice from Dean.” Liz tapped the boy’s head.

“Hold on… the Baxter chick is coming to dinner?” Dean sat up straighter, beer tipped toward Sam.

“Your brother invited her.” Liz set down another drinking glass.

“You said you were okay with it.” Sam protested. “You’ve been my biggest cheerleader so far… what’s with the 180?”

“I am not against you dating her. I love that fact that you’re dating and it’s getting more and more serious. I’m happy for you.” Liz reiterated as she set the last of her dishes in place. “You tell me at the last moment and I’m just… a little thrown.”

Dean caught Liz by the wrist. “What’s she doing coming here?”

“Like I said, your brother invited her.”

“In the back… was that about… cause I don’t do… that anymore. I don’t.” He pulled her closer, lowering his voice.

“Just… making sure you can’t.” She kissed the top of his head and kept going.

“Can’t?” He frowned after her.

“Hey, she’s here…. Just… everyone… act normal.” Sam waved his hands at them as he rushed out the door.

“Wow… I just had a flashback from his senior prom.” Dean shuddered. “His date was this skinny girl… no curves to speak of… braces… nice eyes though.” He nodded as he conjured up the image. “She had this LeBaron. Sweet ride. Only convertible I ever liked.”

“Is that why you slashed her tires while we were at the dance?” Sam re-entered the room with his girlfriend by his side.

“I slashed her tires because her brother owed me money and he said that was his car.” Dean pointed to his brother. “Braceface was a victim of her fink brother’s lying ways.”

“Whatever… Serena, you remember my brother, Dean… his wife, Liz.” Sam cleared his throat. “John over there in the highchair… and this is Adam.”

“Honorary Winchester.” Adam waved from his seat.

“Hi.” Serena waved as she took a seat where Sam indicated. “Thanks for having me over.”

“Don’t mention it, really.” Liz cleared her throat and sent Sam a look. “Sam’s going to have to buy that car if he borrows it from Bobby one more time.”

“I’ve got summer break coming up. I’ll be able to cross the distance more often in a few weeks.”

“You’re still in school?” Adam made a face at their dinner guest. “You’re like… as old as Liz.”

“Hey.” Liz swatted him as she took her seat. “I am not old. Some people do go to school for a long time, young man. If you want to be a doctor, that’s 12 years.”

“Seriously?” Adam frowned as he weighed the new information. “I don’t know if I want to be a doctor, then.”

“What did your dad do?”

“He… sold insurance, I think. I don’t want to do that either.”

“I always wanted to be a fireman when I was growing up.” Dean told him.

“There’s that hero complex again.” Sam passed plates and bowls.

“Dude… a little respect. I’m trying to steer my… wife’s stepson in the direction of normal jobs.”

“Fireman. The statistics—“

“Geekboy. Shut it. Firemen are widely respected. They do a community service. They put out fires, save lives and pull kittens from trees.”

“You are aware that your track record classifies you as a pyromaniac, right?”

“I set fires to save lives and if I go down for that, then so do you.”

“You guys set fires? For what…? Insurance money?” Serena froze with her hands reaching for a bowl of peas.

“Slash and burn… you know… for farmers.” Liz supplied quickly. “Fertilization process.”

“Oh… okay.”

Sam took a deep breath and tried to center himself . “So much for normal, huh.”

“Overrated.” Liz winked at him.

Adam stared at her, head tilted. A flurry of information whirled inside his head, unfurling in its own sweet time. Before he could open his mouth, the conversation moved on. Adult topics of boringness. Nothing about aliens. Nothing about demons. College, work, the bar. While they were determined to put him to sleep, he built a tower out of his peas and mashed potatoes.

“Hey little dude, you okay?” Dean’s voice broke through the haze. The boy just shrugged. “What’s up?”

“Just thinking is all.”

“Don’t think too hard.” Liz warned. “Dinner is not that challenging.”

“Serena seems nice.”

“Thank you.” Serena smiled and squeezed Sam’s arm.

“I don’t know why Missouri doesn’t like her.” Adam shrugged though it wasn’t as innocent a comment as he pretended.

“Who’s Missouri?”

“Just a family friend.” Sam shook his head but didn’t miss the looks his brother and his wife exchanged. “I never actually found that out myself but something tells me that it’s not a closely guarded secret if I asked the right person.”

“Oh…” Serena cast her gaze to her plate. “Right.”

“What?” Sam looked from his girlfriend to his brother to Liz and frowned when each took a drink to keep from being the one to answer.

--

Liz crossed her arms and stared out the big bar window and into the parking lot where Sam and Dean were hashing out their differences. Adam had taken up post at the bar with his homework. Serena had opted to stay behind and wait for the aftermath. Liz just hoped that John stayed down long enough to get this sorted out.

“You know, it’s not like I was being picky that night. I was rebounding from a rebound and I hadn’t even really planned it out in my head. I was just gonna go the next town over and bang the first guy I saw… that didn’t work out. I had a couple of days to get my head on straight… and regardless of Sam’s relation to your husband, I was really glad that I didn’t do anything that night.”

“Welcome aboard that relief train.” Liz mumbled as she stared a bit harder through the window. “Dean and I were going through a really rough patch… it didn’t help the situation but it clarified a few things for us.”

“And what’s that?”

“That we really want this to work.”

--

“You just can’t help yourself, can you?”

“I did not go home with her. How many times do I have to say it? It was a shitty thing to do, I admit that. I paid for that in more ways than you can imagine. Okay?” Dean threw his arms out.

“How could you think of doing that to Liz?”

“Look… I’m not going to give you a blow by blow on the worst part of my December. Okay? I was not in my right mind. I was stressed out, we’d just come off that stupid hunt and… things just hit rock bottom. I did not sleep with her. I went home to my wife and I stayed there.”

“You couldn’t tell me before? You had to wait until I’d fallen for her to reveal that she was gonna be another notch in your bedpost?”

“Dude, it was never about doing something to you. Okay? We recognized her at the hospital and I was just trying to paint her a big picture about the truth of the situation. I didn’t figure on you falling for her. I didn’t figure on it lasting forever. I was just trying to save my ass and my marriage. Okay?”

“What do I tell my kids? Oh, your mom is some chick your uncle picked up in a bar when he was thinking about being unfaithful to his wedding vows.”

“Hey!” Dean shoved his little brother. “Look. Bad time. Bad choice. Outcome is I didn’t do anything.” He leaned against a sign post to look at his little brother. “I wasn’t counting on the whole thing coming out like this. I just figured you’d get back in the saddle and do that thing you do where you avoid relationships because you… get scared for them.” He shrugged. “Maybe I am a bad brother. Maybe I am a crappy husband. I’m a good father… or I try to be. I’m not harboring any lust for your girlfriend, Sammy. I have a wife and she makes damn sure I know where I’m sleeping at night, okay? I never thought I’d enjoy sleeping with the same woman every night. I’m not the person I used to be.”

“You mean the person who made out with my prom date to apologize for slashing her tires?”

“I don’t remember making out with her.”

“How else did you know she wore braces?” Sam exclaimed.

“Braceface… she wore braces.”

“She wore lingual braces, Dean, you couldn’t see them by looking at her.”

--

Adam waited until he was done with his homework. The bar was quiet. Liz and Serena were still camped out by the window. He took a deep breath and walked over. “Hey Liz?”

“Yeah?” She barely turned her head from where the noise had quieted somewhat.

“Think you could tell me about my mom and dad?” He suddenly felt so self-conscious asking her. “If… it’s not too much trouble.”

“Um…” Liz panicked but she had to get over it. That was all years ago. Two or three lifetimes ago, it seemed. “What do you want to know?”

“Can you tell me about… when I was with them?” He sniffed and stared at the floor for bit. “I mean, Aunt Isabel told me some of it but I think she was afraid to tell me all of it.”

“Yeah, sure.” Liz started to get up but he backed away. “What’s wrong?”

“What’s so great about normal?” He watched the blood drain from her face. “What you were saying earlier… made me think of that.”

“It’s something Max said to me once.”

“Why?”

Liz led the boy to a booth where she could see the street and they could still have some privacy. She set the baby monitor on the table and let her mind access memories she’d put away years ago. “Because of what he was and what made us difference. Normal was never something that defined us.”

“Tell me.”

“I’ll try to be as objective as I can… it’s hard for me to talk about some of it.”

--

Serena’s car pulled out onto the road. Sam could feel the bitterness in his soul. He would deal with it, get over it… but not right now. There were other things going on. Liz was teary-eyed when they had gone back inside. Adam had been quiet and moody. Serena had ceased to make eye contact with anyone. To say their goodbye had been awkward would be the understatement of his lifetime.

He wandered around the bar for a long time. The old familiar faces were down to a handful. The kitchen was empty. Liz and the baby were upstairs, reading a story. Possibly something Shakespearian. Then he found Dean and Adam out back… training.

Sam watched his big brother. The same brother who had been his personal tormentor and an ever impatient teacher… patiently instructing his foster son in how to protect himself from a human attack.

Then he thought back. He’d been about 9 or 10 himself, obstinate, and his brother an angry teenager. Time and experience had changed them both. If he was honest with himself, most of those changes had been made in the last few years.

Adam struck as instructed and kept on going. Dean finally had to trap the boy’s arms by his side. Dean held Adam against his chest and felt the pounding heart. He eventually felt hot tears on his bare arms. “Hey, hey. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s been a long night for everyone.”

“It’s not fair.”

“No, it’s not.”

“I want my life back.”

“I know.” Dean rested his head on top of Adam’s. “C’mon. Let’s get to bed, start another day faster.”

TBC

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Re: These Dreams (SN,XO,UC,Mature) Pro-Ch. 65 1/15/08

Post by DMartinez » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:43 pm

Just a note... There are no actual typos in this part. Every wrong note was hit on purpose cause... come on... sick Dean? Funny stuff.

Part 65 – Four weeks later…
(June 1, 2011)

Dean woke up and couldn’t lift his head. Could not do it to save his life. Breathing? He had obviously stopped doing that through his nose at some point in the night. He couldn’t even taste the air he was sucking in. He sneezed and spewed all over his hands. “Gwoss.”

“Here,” a tissue was thrust into his hands, followed quickly by several others. For making such a mess, it had done nothing to clear out his nose. His blurry eyes picked out the brunette outline of his wife and his salvation. “Don’t look at me like that. You’re not dying.”

“You sure?” That wet cough couldn’t be good.

“It’s a cold. You’ll live.” Her warm lips brushed his burning forehead. “I’ll be back. Don’t move.”

“Where you goin’?”

“John’s in his playpen. Do not pick him up. I’m going to walk Adam to Bobby’s and tell Bobby that you’re dying.”

“Thought you said I wasn’t.”

“You’re not, but you’re acting like it and I’ll take the opportunity to bitch about it.” Her hand stroked his face. “Gonna stop by the store for some Nyquil… you… just stay warm and don’t pick up the baby.”

Dean lay still for all of ten minutes, then he kicked off the covers. It was frickin’ June. Stupid flat tires and sudden showers. He plucked more Kleenex from the box to make an attempt at clearing the nasal passages… didn’t help. Johnny chattered to himself and some toys in the play pen. Bleary eyes focused on that sight even as his eyelids threatened to close on him.

“This is pretty funny.” Sam spoke up from the doorway.

“Shuddup.” Dean groaned and had to roll over to take the pressure off his lungs.

“Just wondering about what we were talking about yesterday.” Sam shoved his hands in his pockets. “Now that I’ve got you where you can’t run away.”

“Whaddaya wan from me, Sam?” Dean coughed and felt like vomiting.

“You do remember that the son of a bitch is still out there, right?”

“Yeah, I know.”

“So… mind helping me with the research?”

“What research? The son of bitch has to show us where he’s hidin’. Then we get ‘im to the God Damn Church on t—“ Dean cut off his speech as a huge coughing fit struck him. He was grateful for the trash can under his chin in time. After an eternity of phlegm and not breathing, Dean lay back on the pillows. “Whadda ya wan from me? It’s not like you been all gung ho since you and Serena been burnin’ gas tween here and Baxter.”

“Shut up, Dean.”

“Just sayin’… don’t go throwin’ stones.” Dean sneezed up more yuck and shifted his gaze to his son. “Never thought I’d have this, Sammy… and I wan it for you, too. I’m fuckin’ tired of huntin’. I’m… I like the tired I am these days, Sammy. Workin’ for Bobby, playin’ with Johnny, lookin’ out for Adam… I love Liz. I don’t wan the damn demon fuckin’ this up… Show me where he is so I can kill him.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Sam nodded and set a book on the bed. “I gotta go to work soon. Maybe you try to stay awake and read through that for me. Bobby just got it from an old friend of his. I haven’t had a chance.”

Liz listened from the doorway with tears brimming in her eyes. He’d finally said it but he’d said it to his brother first. But in the Winchester world, confidants were brothers, sons and fathers… so it made sense. Still, she would like to hear it. She cleared her throat and held the cup of tea out to Dean and set her shopping bag on the bed. “You boys behaving?”

“I am a gem.” Dean wrinkled his nose at the tea but took a sip. He thought he couldn’t taste, he was wrong. He really wished he couldn’t taste. “That’s gwoss.”

“It’ll make you feel better.” She insisted. Her eyes drifted to the book on the bed. “Light reading?”

“Just making sure he’s useful.” Sam winked at her then turned to pick up his nephew. “I’ll take him down for breakfast.”

“Kay.” Liz nodded to him and waited until after he was gone to turn her gaze to her husband. “I took the test this morning.”

It took Dean’s spinning head a moment to catch up to her sudden shift in subject. Then it had all come back to him. Panic. Missed monthlies. Waiting. The reason Liz had run to the store, had gotten the flat, had had him out changing the tire just the afternoon after he’d been out for two days hunting a vengeful spirit… and the reason he was sick in bed, feeling like he was dying. “Right. And?”

“We lucked out.” She offered lamely.

“You okay?”

“Yeah. I’m good. You know?” She traced patterns on his knee while he sipped and made faces at his cup. “It scared me.” He raised his eyebrows and nodded his head to his cup. She let out a nervous laugh. “We fought so much while I was pregnant. I don’t want that to happen again. We… didn’t… there was so much going on that we didn’t…”

“Yeah.” He agreed. They had never gotten to the root of it all. “Any visions?”

“No.” She shook her head. Not a one since Adam had given her the mother of all flash-bang-visions. Things that would not be. Clearing her throat, loudly, she began pulling items out of her bag. “Come on. Sit up.”

“Vicks.” He sneered at the little blue jar. “Did you get the Dayquil?”

“Maybe.”

“I don’t wanna sleep all day.”

“Okay.” She nodded as she slipped a goo-covered hand up the back of his shirt. He groaned in appreciation and leaned his head against her shoulder. He barely gave her enough space to let her do the same treatment on his chest. Treatments done, medicine given, they leaned against one another. “Dean? What if I had been pregnant again?”

“We’re not going to think about that. You aren’t. It’s too soon, anyway. I could have lost you both that night.” He took a shallow breath, it was the deepest breath he could manage. “I’m sick and I’m pathetic but… there are days I never want to live over. That last night with you and me before I knew you were pregnant. The night John was born and the night the demon came for you both. I am grateful to have you and John but… I couldn’t survive those days again.”

“You won’t have to.” She reassured him. “Get some rest. I’ll bring you some soup later.”

“Man, I seriously lucked out. I’m sick and gross and I still get a hot chick waiting on me hand and foot.” He mumbled as he settled back into his warm pocket. He didn’t even open his eyes when she threw her pillow at him.

--

Dean frowned at the text. He dialed his brother’s cell. “Dude, I got a question.”

“I’m working.”

“I know but I need to know about this thing. There’s a diagram or something that’s not in here.”

“It was torn out?”

“No. Says the hierarchy of Hell more or less follows the diagram by some Boser guy. I want to see it.”

“I’ll call you back.”

Dean muddled his way through chapter after chapter. He hated research but damn it, there was something to this. He’d just fallen asleep again when the phone rang. Sam. “Yeah?”

“So I looked it up. Sounded familiar but it didn’t click until I saw the diagram. It’s the Divine Comedy. Call Bobby. I think he has an outline or maybe even the real thing.”

“Now what?”

“Dante… anyway. Tell Bobby you want a diagram of the Inferno if he’s got it.”

Dean stared at his phone for a long moment before he hung up and dialed Bobby’s.

--

Liz doodled behind the bar. It was slow and she had long finished her budget for the week, month… She’d sent home most of her staff simply because it made fiscal sense. John was napping peacefully in the pen they had set up just inside the kitchen. Adam wouldn’t be home from school for another two hours.

When Bobby walked in, waved her off and walked into the back, she sat up. Shaking her head, she glanced down at her doodles. Alien symbols. Great. Like she wanted to remember any of that right now.

--

Bobby handed Dean the sheaf of papers and stared at the mess on the bed; notes and books. “Never knew you to be a book hound, Dean”

“Just tryin’ to figure this book out.” Dean tapped the page in front of him.

“Dante is pretty heavy stuff.”

“This dude is full on with the dimensions and crossing over.”

“That’s metaphysics. Never known you to go there, Dean.”

“Well, it’s startin’ to bake sense. Hell is a real pwlace where demons bwreed and souls are tortured. That is real.” Dean scanned the diagrams and explanations Bobby had brought over. Dean studied the diagram. He’d seen it before. Levels of Hell. Then his eyes landed on a level just below the entrance to Hell. He sneezed loudly but managed to get to the tissue before spewing all over his hard work. “This book subboses evbrything this Dante guy wrote has some basis in reality. The Deadly sins were insbired by Demons infecting Humans and so on and so forth with ebry demon out there.”

“What’s your point?”

“Bobby… look.” Dean pointed to the top of the diagram. “There’s a pwlace for neutrals. We saw Max. He was here. He’s helped us. He’s able to cross ober from where he is to our world and he was able to bing some powerful friends of his.”

“What friends?”

“Don’t know. There were six ghosts in the room that night. Max there… maybe Dad.”

“If Max is neutral… how would he be in contact with souls in hell?”

“He’s a hybid. Alien and Human. Maybe the human bart of him gibes him access. Look at this. If Dad’s in Hell… he’s here. With the Wrathful.”

“Your daddy was a fraud too.” Bobby tapped the lower section of the diagram.

“But the ribers…” Dean pointed out. “Acheron, Styx, and Phlegathon. To cross Styx you have to take a solemn oath and Dad communicates across the levels of hell.”

“This Demon your daddy crossed. He’s not an upper tier type, Dean. I’d say he’s down near the bottom.”

“Okay, fine. He’s burning in the fucking bimstone. He’s still baking contact when the demons aren’t looking. It’s gotta be connected.”

“Okay, so what about it?”

“I don’t know but I have to know.”

--

Adam glanced around as he picked at his dinner. “Did Dean go away again?”

“No, but he got a pretty bad cold so I confined him to bed.” Liz shook her head as she balanced her son on one leg and tried to eat with her left hand.

“So… he can’t spar with me later?”

“Afraid not. He should stay in bed another day at least… but school is out in two days… so then he can go out with you and do some… fun stuff, I guess.”

“Oh.”

“Did you want to do the day camp thing?”

“No way. Only geeks go to day camp.” He scoffed at her.

“If you get bored, I’m putting you to work.” She warned him.

“Think Sam would spar with me?”

“You could ask him… but after dinner.”

--

Dean snapped the book shut with a scoff. Liz arched an eyebrow at him but didn’t stop bathing the baby. He scoffed again. “Doesn’t this prove that there is no heaven?”

“What does?”

“We have full maps and descriptions of Hell in all its many, many levels and dimensions but not for Heaven.” He shoved the book aside. “Isn’t that proof?”

Liz mulled that over a moment while she splashed warm water over her son’s back. “Who drew the maps of Hell? Escapees?”

“Maybe.”

“Then there would be no one to draw the maps of Heaven.”

“How’s that?” Dean stared up at her.

“If you’re IN Heaven… why would you leave?”

“Don’t be all logical with me.”

One month later…
(July 3, 2011)

Liz leaned over Adam’s book to see what he was reading. “Harry Potter?”

“It’s on the reading list.” He shrugged. “I already saw all the movies.”

“There are movies?” She asked and watched him groan. “What?”

“Last year when the last one came out, it was everywhere.”

“Well, we didn’t have a TV until the latter part of the year and we still don’t have cable.”

“Yeah, I know. Rabbit ears suck.” He folded his arms over the book over his chest. “Does he have to go?”

“There are people who need help. These things are dangerous and… I do worry and I don’t want him to go but I don’t want people’s deaths on my head because I told him that he couldn’t go.”

“Well, what are these things?”

“He said that it’s a Raw-head and he’s fought them before. It should be no big deal. He’ll be back in a couple of days and then we can bug him to death again.” She slid onto the bed next to him and wrapped an arm around him. “I really don’t want him to go, either. I like having him around.”

“Yeah.”

--

Dean stared at his car. Still sleek and black. Well oiled machine.

It had a car-seat and a Game-boy in the backseat. Used Kleenex on the floor. Johnny’s bunny under the backseat and the diaper bag under the front seat.

Sam bit back a laugh at the expression on his brother’s face. “What’s wrong, Dean?”

“My baby’s been domesticated,” he pouted as he removed the offending items in case Liz might need them while the Winchester brothers rode out to fight the forces of darkness. “It’s a sad, sad day. I used to have sex in this car and now I’ve got kids and their toys crawling all over my backseat.”

Sam started to laugh and then frowned. “But… you haven’t had sex in the car for years, right?”

“What’s that?” Dean tucked his bottom lip into his mouth, head swinging around to not quite meet his brother’s gaze.

“You haven’t had sex in the car since we hooked up again, right?”

“Um, I’m not sure.” Dean shook his head.

“Well, not in the last three, right?”

“That’s… not real accurate.” He narrowed his eyes. “Not this year, I can guarantee that.”

“What? No. Never mind. I don’t want to know.”

--

Liz wrapped up the food and tossed it in a brown paper bag. She checked the phones and made sure the chargers were in the side pocket of Dean’s duffle. When she joined the men outside, Dean was lecturing their son. “So, you keep an eye out and tell Mom if something’s wrong.” John was more interested in chewing on Dean’s jacket collar. “Or pass it on to Adam and he can get word out… Make sure that Adam is putting up the sigils and checking the locks, okay?”

“I’m on it.” Adam reassured him from where he was sitting in the backseat. He took the duffle from Liz and secured it on the seat before reaching over to put the brown bag in the front seat. Sam watched as Dean put his arm around Liz and held her close. They didn’t speak but the embrace said it all. Then it was all real quick. The kiss and mumbled goodbye. The passing of the baby from father to mother. The ruffle of Adam’s hair before Dean set him on his feet in the lot once more. Sam paused a moment to wave to his family before sitting beside Dean in the front seat. A moment later, they were on the road and the trio in the rearview mirror was just a shrinking blob.

“Dude… you okay?” Sam whispered.

“Let’s hurry up and get this thing killed.” Dean croaked out, his throat tight from trying to control the worry and emotion he’d felt at leaving his family.

“Dean?” Sam stared but he couldn’t see his brother behind the mask.

This felt different than the last three hunts he’d been on since John had been born but he couldn’t figure out what it was.

--

Kyle picked at his fries. “I don’t know what I said.”

“You had to have said something for her to kick you out.” Liz pointed out as she set the cleaned glasses in rows behind the bar.

“We were fine last night. This morning, we were fine. All I said when I walked in tonight was… oh… oh. No…” Kyle swept a hand over his face.”

“What? What’d you say?”

“It’s what I didn’t say.” Kyle shut his eyes. “We were on our fifth date today, three years ago and that’s when I said… you know.”

“Wow.”

“I just walked in and asked what’s for dinner. Then she started cursing and throwing things at me and yelling at me to get out.”

Liz placed her hands on top of his. “This is what you’re going to do. You’re going to go down the street and pick her some flowers from the field. You’re going to hand them to her and tell her that you’re sorry. You had a bad day at work but it’s no excuse for forgetting your anniversary. Then you’re going to call every restaurant in Rutherford until you get a reservation and you’re taking her out tomorrow night.”

“I am?”

“Yes. You are.” Then she tapped his hand. “Even if she says that you don’t have to do that… just say that you want to make her feel special. Okay?”

“I think I got it.”

“Good. Go.” Liz shooed him off then went into the kitchen to check on the boys. She was just slightly surprised to find Adam changing John’s diaper. She didn’t want to make fun of him so she just went about her business of getting a soda from the refrigerator. “Does he need a change of clothes?”

“Nah, he was just wet.” Adam powdered and strapped the baby into a new diaper.

“Who showed you how to change a diaper?”

“Dean.” The boy shrugged. “He was showing Sam how.”

“Well, you did a good job.”

“I don’t think I’ll try poopy diapers though.”

“I don’t blame you and I wish I had that option.” She took John from him and took a seat at the metal table in the middle of the kitchen. “You know, you don’t have to. I appreciate the help but don’t feel like you have to help with him.”

“I… feel better when I take care of him… I don’t feel so… alone.”

“Oh?”

“Both my parents were aliens. I’m the only one like me… but you’re kind of like me and so John’s kind of like you… so he’s like me, too.”

“He’s not so entertaining now and in a few years, he’ll probably be annoying to you but when you’re older, you’ll probably find out that he looks up to you… kind of like a brother.”

“You think?”

“Yeah, I think so.” She brushed his dark hair out of his face. “I probably haven’t said it and I definitely should. I know that I had my doubts about you coming to live with us but I need you to know this.” She took a deep breath. “I loved your dad. With everything I had. I knew that you were out there and a piece of him and that he loved you. If ever there came a day when you were in my life… I knew that I would have to love you or else.” She stared at him. “I knew that if I couldn’t find it in me to love you that I would lose him… I realized that before he even gave you up. I’ve had many years to ponder what might happen if you came back to us.”

“Even after everything that she did?”

“Yeah. You’re his son. He was my husband. Maybe it makes you my stepson but you’re family because your family is mine too. Your Aunt Isabel and I are still sisters even though Max is gone. Dean is my husband now and he respects that bond.”

“I was mean to him at first.”

“I know.”

“I just didn’t want him to be a jerk to me first.”

“I know.”

“I think he likes me okay.”

“He does. He thinks you’re a cool kid.” She smiled at him and pressed a kiss to his forehead. “He told me that you remind him of himself at your age.”

“But he didn’t lose his whole family.”

“No, but his life wasn’t good for as long as yours was. He was just a child when he found out what was in the darkness. When his mother was taken away and he had to watch his father fall apart.” Shifting her son in her arms, she pulled Adam closer. “You have people to take care of you. He didn’t. He had to learn to take care of himself and his brother and his father at an age when he shouldn’t have.”

Adam watched her eyes change as she kept speaking. “I’d come home from a hunt. I’d be wrecked from everything I’d seen, from the things I’d killed. Bruised and cut and a mess. Dean would be waiting up for me. He’d come and sit next to me and put his hand on my shoulder and say, ‘it’s okay, Dad. It’s okay.’ And I know that he shouldn’t have been saying that to me. I should have been saying it to him. He was five years old.”

--

Sam opened the door and gripped the Taser. He watched Dean carefully. Dark had fallen just as they had hit the town. He remembered the last Raw-head they had gone after. How he’d almost lost Dean. He followed his brother into the sewer and almost missed the signs. It wasn’t until Dean gripped his Taser in one hand and flicked open a baton with the other that he realized they were in the nest.

The younger Winchester never had a chance to get his punches in. Dean’s left arm snapped the baton against the side of its head, his right leg kicked it in the chest and then Dean’s right arm plunged the Taser into its neck. The Raw-head’s body did a dance until it was dead. Sam stared at the picture Dean made. Fierce concentration draining from his face, actually making him a little pale. “Dean?”

“I’m good.” Dean rolled his shoulders. “Let’s head back. We can be home by midnight.”

Sam stared at his brother. The warrior in his brother. He’d always known his brother to be belligerent but the determination he saw in his brother was sobering. All acts before this one were done with a sort of devil may care attitude that had always driven Sam nuts. This wasn’t that. This was the display of a man who knew exactly what he had to lose and wasn’t about to let that happen.

“Sam! Let’s go!”

--

Adam focused. If he tilted his head just the right way, he should see the shimmer hovering near to Liz ever since she’d said those weird things about Dean in the kitchen. There were three shimmers near Liz but he couldn’t see them aside from faint outlines. She was smiling but her eyes were sad. She didn’t seem to remember falling out of their conversation earlier.

She tweaked his nose as she passed him to pick up John who was squealing out high-pitched syllables. She spun around with him in her arms and made smacking kisses in his neck. Liz pinched Adam’s cheek lightly. “I’m closing up soon. You want to round up the empties?”

Shrugging, Adam picked up a bucket and made his way around the bar, which was nearly empty anyway. He carried his bucket back to the bar where Liz spent the remainders down the drain and then tossed the bottles into a can and set the glasses in another bucket to carry to the kitchen.

It happened so fast. The lights flickered, then Liz screamed. The baby started crying and the doors banged open and shut. The lights went out. Adam dropped his bucket and backed his way underneath a booth table. The bar went silent except for John’s cries. Adam couldn’t see. Slowly, he reached up on top of the table and grabbed the salt shaker. He poured lines against the edges of the bench bottoms, forming himself a protective cave.

“Who’s there?” Liz’s voice called out. A table flew through the air and knocked over several others, sending their contents rolling passed Adam. With a shaking hand, he reached out and grabbed as many salt shakers as he possibly could, thickening his protective lines. He was peering around the bench when he heard the heavy footsteps. “Who’s there?”

--

Dean frowned as the radio DJ tossed out the date. “Sammy?”

“Yeah?”

“How old is Johnny?”

“Um…” Sam squinted his eyes as he ticked off the months. “Five… no, six months today.”

“Today?” Dean pressed his foot to the floorboard.

“Exactly.” He took a breath when he let the synapses fire in the right direction. “He’s exactly six months old today.”

TBC

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Re: These Dreams (SN,XO,UC,Mature) Pro-Ch. 66 1/18/08

Post by DMartinez » Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:46 am

Part 66 – An hour later…
(July 3, 2011)

Liz slid along the floor with Johnny in her arms. Her head throbbed and energy crackled up and down her arms. She could taste blood in her mouth. Glasses flew over her head and smashed against the wall. She arched her back to create an umbrella for John, wincing when the falling pieces hit her flesh. He whimpered and pouted but she couldn’t afford to stop and calm him down.

“Liz.” Came the hiss from behind her. She could barely make out Adam’s frightened face in the shadow of his hiding place. She pushed her son towards him. Adam’s eyes went wide but he reached out and pulled the baby close and lifted him over the salt line. Then more glasses flew across the room, shattering and raining down on Liz.

“Sh. Sh.” Adam whispered to the baby in his arms as he retreated against the back wall. He watched Liz get to her feet, watched the blood run down the back of her leg. Watched the green energy crackling up and down her body grow brighter.

--

Sam concentrated on the road as if he could make the car go faster. Dean’s focus on the road was something Sam had never seen, ever. It was getting late and they might make it. The worry might all be for nothing. It wasn’t like they knew for certain that something would happen. They just had past experience and a pissed off demon who had expressed an interest in obtaining a Winchester boy with some alien juice in his blood. “God knows what demon blood would do to him.”

“Shut up, Sam.”

“I didn’t mean to… I was just thinking out loud.”

“Well, stop it.”

--

Time stood still. Adam stared out into the black outside his little space. A face appeared just outside the table. “So, you’ve got my little prince. Let’s play make a deal.”

“No.” Adam shook his head, shrinking back with Johnny squirming in his arms.

“Come on… She loves you, you could take his place. Give me the baby and you get Mommy Liz and Daddy Dean all to yourself.”

“No.”

“Ah.” Liz gasped as an invisible embrace tightened around her body, causing her cuts to sing out in agony.

“Hand him over or I’ll show you what little Dean Winchester saw when he was just a wee four years old.”

“Ah!” Liz screamed louder as her feet left the ground… but the energy coursing through her body grew brighter.

--

Dean skidded the Impala into the parking lot and threw open his door, shotgun in hand. He ran full speed at the door, forcing it open and swinging his gun arm into the main room. “Liz!” He stopped short, causing Sam to collide with his back. Liz hung suspended three feet off the ground, her body coursing with energy but helpless against the assault by a figure that was hidden in shadows.

“Sam, go get my gun. It’s in the trunk.”

“Dean, my boy. Back so soon?”

“Put her down.” Dean cocked his shotgun and stepped into the bar. Then he saw a familiar face in the darkest shadow of the room. He hated the guy. Hated him but he didn’t wish this fate on him. “So, you’re possessing my defeats, now? Billy couldn’t fight to save his life.”

“Pride, Dean. It’s a sin.”

“So, I’m told.”

“Dean!” Liz squeaked out as the pressure around her body tightened, glass digging deeper into her flesh.

Sam skidded to a halt next to his brother, iron rod in one hand and the gun in the other. Dean took it from his brother and leveled it at the possessed human across the bar. The demon laughed. “How are you going to use your toy if I have your batteries?”

Liz shrieked as she was squeezed again. Her energy hit a fever pitch. Then it was like every molecule of oxygen lit up between Liz and Dean. A bridge of some sort. A conduit that shot her energy straight into him and channeled itself into the gun. Dean pulled the trigger and the world went silent for a single moment.

Then it all happened at once. Yellow Eyes choked on his air when the bullet entered his temporal lobe. Green energy crackled around his body before he fell to his knees and finally face forward onto the bar floor. Liz fell to the ground, screaming as her body collided with the wooden floor, cuts splitting wider, shards of glass digging deeper. Dean hit his knees as his brain lit up in pain and his vision exploded in a thousand pinpoints of light. Sam was thrown back against the wall, cracking his skull against a picture frame.

Dean blinked rapidly once the pain in his cranium had cooled. He could see the outlines of figures standing between him and his wife’s prone body and figures standing in front of a booth in the back of the bar. He shook his head and looked again, he could see them. Max knelt over Liz, Pastor Jim glancing around, Marty and Dr. Meyer with their hands joined, some guy who looked like Max crouching in the middle… and his dad towering over him with something in his eyes. Shaking his head again, Dean looked to the other gathering. Jess standing on her tiptoes to see something behind Dean, Caleb leaning against the booth’s table with his arms crossed and some blonde chick kneeling and looking beneath the table.

“Dad?” Dean switched his gaze back to the figure standing over him. He actually felt his father’s hand in his hair. “Dad.”

“We did it. It’s over.” John reassured his boy. “I don’t know how much time we have before whatever happens happens but I wanted to tell you… I’m proud.”

“How?” Dean gripped his father’s arm to hold on just a little longer.

“Don’t know. One time deal, us helping you two out. Next time, you better be with her.” John warned gently. “Somehow… I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”

“Jess?” Sam’s voice croaked out in surprise but he crossed the room to investigate. Tears slipped from his eyes when he felt her arms around him.

“No love? Geez.” Caleb shrugged but didn’t move from his spot against the table.

“Mother of God…” Pastor Jim whispered as he looked around the familiar bar. “We all died… didn’t we?”

“You know it.” The crouched figure mumbled.

“Zan, can it.” Max muttered as he laid a hand on Liz’s back. “Dean, she’s okay for now but she’s been bleeding awhile.”

Dean forced himself to his feet, accepting Marty’s help when he stumbled on his way to his wife. Her back was soaked with blood, glass shards and pieces lay everywhere. “Liz?”

“Dean… the boys.” Liz pushed the words out though she wasn’t lucid.

“Tess?” Max called over.

“They’re under here. They’re fine.” The blonde swung her head around to address them before sticking it back under the table.

“Adam.” Dean called over.

“Who are all these things?” Adam called back but didn’t climb out from his hiding place.

“Friends and family. Where’s John?” Dean started to get to his feet again but his bones were still singing from his alien infusion.

“Right here. We’re okay.”

“Come on out, Bud.” Slowly, Adam climbed out with John in his arms and crossed the distance to where Dean knelt next to Liz. He rushed into Dean’s arms hid his face from the curious onlookers. Dean secured the boys in his arms and nudged Adam. “Come on. Look up. I want you to take a good look at everyone standing in this room. Everyone in here is our family.”

Adam took a deep breath and did as told. His eyes studied nine faces and committed them to memory before they all flickered and disappeared from sight. “Where’d they go?”

“Hopefully some place better than where they were.”

TBC

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Re: These Dreams (SN,XO,UC,Mature) Pro-Ch. 67 1/18/08

Post by DMartinez » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:26 am

Part 67 – later that night…
(July 4, 2011)

Liz gasped but held tight to Dean while Sam pulled the glass out. Adam and little John had long since passed out. Sam had taken care of burying the body. Dean had calmed the boys down and assessed Liz’s war wounds. It took two hours to fully clean every cut on Liz’s back. Then Sam went downstairs to lock up and put up a closed sign.

Dean leaned against the headboard with Liz lying on top of him. “You asleep?”

“No.” She shook her head.

“In pain?”

“No, I’m good.”

“It’s over.”

“I would hope so.” She sighed and lifted her head to look at him. “The boys?”

“Both down in Adam’s room. I put the monitor in there.”

“Good.” She shut her eyes and wished he could put his arms around her. She knew the pain it would ignite if he did but she still wanted it.

--

Bobby looked the gun over. It didn’t look any different than when he’d given it to the Winchesters. He looked around and studied the charred spot where poor Billy’s body had lain until Sam had dragged it away. “So, the gun only works if you both hold on it, huh.”

“Apparently.” Liz shrugged and sipped her coffee. “I feel really horribly that we had to kill Billy but it’s over.”

They sat in silence, brows furrowed as they wrapped their minds around the fact that the guy was gone. He wasn’t a bad person, really. Clearly he’d had some issues if a demon was able to possess him. Still, too many people had gone that way. Bobby didn’t know what to say to that, he still hadn’t recovered from losing his best friend. “You just have to keep an eye out for the next wave.”

“Pardon me?”

“Once other demons get wind of what you and Dean done… they’ll want to make sure that the same won’t happen to them.”

“So what? Now we’re targets?” Dean frowned from where he sat examining the boys for any damage they hadn’t seen the night before.

“I’d say so. Good luck with that.” Bobby clapped him on the back. He almost left but he caught sight of a sheaf of papers on the table top. “Who drew these?”

“Adam’s been doodling all morning.” Dean shrugged as he fought to get socks on his child.

Bobby’s rapt focus caught Liz’s attention. She rose and peered around his arm at some familiar faces. “You know these folks?”

“That’s Max… that’s Zan, Max’s duplicate… that’s Tess.”

“It is?” Adam pulled that sheet out of their hands. “That was her?”

“I didn’t see much, I was a little preoccupied.” Liz showed the pictures to Dean.

“Dad, Marty, Dr. Meyer and that one is Pastor Jim. He was family.” Dean pointed to each in turn. “That’s Jess…”

“Sam’s Jess?”

“Yeah.” Dean nodded. “And that’s Caleb… he was a good friend.”

“That he was.” Bobby nodded in agreement. “I was thinking… about what we talked about last month… maybe there’s something that happens to a spirit that’s killed by demons… maybe the rules don’t apply.”

“Maybe.” Dean shrugged and stared at the picture of his father. Adam had captured him exactly. “You did a good job on these, bud.”

“Where is your brother?”

“He needed some space after last night.”

--

Sam looked up when Liz entered the room. She just sat at the foot of his bed. She didn’t say a word but he knew that she knew what he had seen the night before. “Happy 4th of July.”

“Right?” Liz snorted. “How are you holding up?”

“Not so good.” He frowned. “It took me a long time to accept that she was gone. I knew her body was gone but her spirit… and to know that it was trapped somewhere with other victims of the Yellow-Eyed demon. She felt real, Liz.” His nostrils flared as he forced himself to breathe. “I had my arms around her and she… vanished. She’s gone… and I’m messed up and I have a girlfriend.” He wiped at his eyes and tried to focus. “I probably shouldn’t have but I called her this morning. I told her everything. About Mom, Dad, Jess, you and last night… everything and she’ll probably never talk to me again. She’ll think I’m nuts and she’s better off.”

“Maybe you give her a chance.” Liz offered lamely.

“She was the only blonde that I’ve ever fallen for.” Sam laughed to himself. “I never looked at them before and I haven’t looked at them since. Sarah… was so real. She lived in the world and saw it for what it was.”

“What makes Serena different enough for you, Sam?”

“She’s smart. Really smart. She could have been a rocket scientist but she couldn’t see how she could help the world by learning to blow shit up. So she went to nursing school to pay the bills. Because she could take in parts of other people’s lives while her life was falling apart. She’s studying to be a doctor so she can save lives and start her own practice and be the one-man-band.” Sam took a deep breath and looked at his sister-in-law. “She takes in everything and uses it. Music, math, stuff she reads. She just… processes it and turns it back out. Emotions. She reads me even though I don’t tell her the truth about me.”

“Sounds to me like she knew something was coming before this morning. Maybe she knows you well enough to know how to use this to know you better.”

--

Dean leaned back on the trunk. “You still got two months of vacation.”

“Yeah.” Adam shrugged.

“It’s safe for you to go visit your grandparents.”

“I know but…”

“’Sup?”

“I don’t know them and I like it here.”

“It’s so weird… I never thought I’d have some place to go when I killed that son of a bitch and I’m already home.” Dean shut his eyes and listened to Adam’s breathing and scuffing the dirt.

“Hey, um… when Tess’s ghost was here, she was talking to me and I didn’t really understand… mostly cause I didn’t know who she was at the time.”

“What’d she say?”

“That she’s the one who started it… that it was all her fault cause she kept trying to fix things but they kept getting more and more messed up.”

“What sorts of things?”

“She said she helped at first and Liz was helping people. Then she… saw you and you were going to mess things up so she showed you to Liz and it kind of worked cause it made you stay away for a long time.” Adam looked up at him. “I guess it was when she was married to Max, still, huh.”

“Probably.”

“She said that she tried again to keep you away to protect us and that’s when she met your dad and then they realized that they should work together to stop the bad things instead of avoiding the… inclusion of one life into the other… she used a lot of big words.”

“You know what, we’ll sit down with Liz and straighten it all out. She knows the details on the visions… I just show up and shoot shit.”

“Okay.”

“You okay?”

“It’s weird. She said from now on, she won’t be able to help… we’re on our own.” Adam sat down on the ground. “Where were they before and where are they now?”

“To tell the truth, most of the guys we saw last night, were hanging out in hell for one reason or another. Some of them were caught some place in between. I don’t know for certain. Now… hopefully they didn’t go back there. I’d like to think they went to a better place. Heaven or just… not hell.”

Two days later…
(July 6, 2011)

Kyle listened to the tale as Adam explained it to Liz. He ran a hand over his face then turned to Liz. “Do you think they were hanging around and laughing their asses off while we were scratching our heads?”

“I thought our theories were pretty sound. I didn’t know the visions were given to me specifically by the ghost of my husband’s ex.” Liz shook her head. She rested a hand on Adam’s shoulder and tried to wrap her mind around it. “It’s a little creepy.”

“A little?” Kyle snorted.

“Why did she butt in at all?” Adam piped up.

“She had a blueprint or access to some grand plan.” Liz mused. “She had to have seen something that upset her and made her want to change it.”

“Where’s that notebook?” Kyle jumped up and started rifling through Liz’s desk drawers.

“Kyle… we went through all those not-verses.” She groaned but stood up to help him look for it.

“I have it.” Adam’s voice was small as he pulled the worn notebook from his backpack. The three of them read through it again. After two hours of discussion, they were ready to scream. “You’re saying that she didn’t like something in each of these visions, but there’s just a little piece.”

Kyle folded his hands on the table and took a deep breath. “Maybe it’s not what she showed us but what she didn’t. What in these universes didn’t she like enough to show us what could have happened?”

“Okay…” Liz tilted her head back. “What was most important to Tess?”

Both sets of eyes settled on Adam.

--

Sam found his brother sitting in the backseat of the Impala with John in the car seat. The radio played some classic rock softly above the sounds of sloshing beer and sucking noises. Suppressing a snicker, Sam leaned in the back passenger window. “What’s going on?”

“We changed the oil, refilled the coolant, tested the timing chain… and now we’re enjoying the shade with a couple of bottles.”

“Really.”

“Liz and Adam are talking alien business. Still kinda weirds me out.” Dean took a pull on his beer with his left hand, his right hand busy grazing Johnny’s leg with a finger. Johnny sleepily sucked on his bottle. “How’re you holding up?”

“You know me… I brood.” Both brothers had a good chuckle at that.

Another pull, gulp, slosh. “Adam’s been having nightmares. Doesn’t want me to tell Liz.”

“Are you going to?”

“Nah. Rug rat trusts me. If I break his trust, then who’s he gonna go to?”

“Someone with a conscience?” Sam cracked.

“Maybe.” Dean shrugged.

“You know… there’s a lot of trouble headed our way.”

“Yep.” He nodded and looked over at his brother. “It means that any demons we hunt up, we gotta take Liz with us.” Measured the amount of beer in his bottle. “Of course, where Liz goes, John goes and we can’t leave Adam behind.”

“Impala’s getting a little crowded with five people.”

“Who said you were riding with us?”

“You’re kicking me out of the family. Just like that?”

“No, just saying you gotta get your own car now.” Dean smirked up at the ceiling. “Me and Liz in the front seat, the boys in the back… you didn’t think you were gonna ride shotgun the rest of our lives, did you?”

Sam shrugged but really thought about it. “No, I didn’t. I really didn’t.”

“What kind of car does Serena drive?”

“Malibu… Eighty-something. Why?”

“Is that her car pulling in?”

--

Liz held a hand in each of hers and concentrated. She spun the scenes around in her head the way she had after she’d read them all. Felt all the flavors that made that universe different from the one they existed in. Then she did something else. She rewound the vision and followed it back to the point where it all changed. Where Tess thought that it had all gone wrong. Her eyes opened just as Sam and Serena were traipsing through the kitchen. “Hey Liz… mind if I use your guestroom for a private chat?”

“Private…” Kyle waggled his eyebrows at Sam but got swatted by Liz for his trouble.

Adam tugged on Liz’s arm suddenly. “Liz… Liz, I gotta talk to you.”

“What?” She turned her attention to him.

“I have to tell you something that I remembered I never knew.”

“What?” Kyle and Sam blurted out together.

“You two, go chat.” Liz waved off Sam. “You, come with me.” She steered Adam out the backdoor.

Kyle frowned but didn’t follow when he was left alone in the kitchen. He watched Adam’s face from the kitchen. Then watched as the color drained from Liz’s face.

--

John slapped his hands against his father’s face, squealing with glee. Dean just grinned and enjoyed his time with his son. He had the feeling that their time was coming to a close as it was getting too quiet. No one had come to grab him for a meal. No one had come looking to squeeze the baby. Adam hadn’t been sent out for a man-to-man talk about something erroneous that had spilled out of his mouth.

--

Sam leaned against the headboard, Serena curled up against him. Hunting could wait. It could all wait, he just wanted to lay there for the rest of his life. When the knock came, he groaned. “Yeah?”

“Hey man.” Dean stuck his head in. “Liz says dinner is in an hour. Wants to know if Serena is staying.”

Serena met Sam’s eyes and nodded slightly. “Yeah, I’m staying.”

“Okay… just so we’re clear. That is a literal yes to dinner and some kind of code for… I’m not dumping Sam’s freaky ass… right?”

“Dean!” Liz shrieked from down the hall.

“Dean, go away. We’ll be down for dinner.” Sam shook his head and leaned his head against hers.

--

Liz hissed slightly as she shifted onto her back. Dean scooted to the far edge of the bed. Adam rolled in his sleep, limbs flailing in the process. Dean raised an eyebrow at her across the kid’s head. “What exactly did you see in these visions?”

“Tess was apparently trying to make sure that Adam had a good life. In those weird worlds where you and I aren’t together the way we are now… Adam was being abused or unloved or dead.”

“What about that one where you and Max had him?”

“Kivar killed him the next year. There was another one where I had a bunch of kids and Adam… You killed Adam because you thought he was a demon. Started a war between humans and aliens… well, hunters and aliens.”

“So… she was just taking care of him, huh.”

“Yeah.”

“Gave him nightmares?”

“I’d be surprised if it hadn’t.” She rolled onto her side to face him and relieve the pressure on her still-tender back. “He saw something else.”

“Oh yeah?”

“A gun. Shoots glass bullets, like little light bulbs, he said.”

“Okay.”

“Someone has to build it.”

“I don’t know anyone who knows how to build a gun that shoots light bulbs.”

“Adam said that Serena built it… for us to use. In case we got separated.”

“Well, that’s never gonna happen.”

“You don’t know that, Dean.”

“I won’t let it happen.”

“Then, now what? Even if she agrees to make the damned thing, how long will it take? We’re gonna have demons gunning for our family.”

“I’ll think of something.”

“Dean, I had a vision.”

TBC

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DMartinez
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Re: These Dreams (SN,XO,UC,Mature) Pro-Ch. 68 1/19/08

Post by DMartinez » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:15 pm

Part 68 – a week later…
(July 11, 2011)

“I can go by myself.” Adam scoffed as he shoved open the doors to the diner.

“Ten minutes then I come looking for you.” Dean warned and settled into the booth. “Liz will be back any minute.”

“Whatever, man.” Adam hurried to the bathrooms.

“Yeah, you better run.” Dean muttered and checked on John sleeping in his carrier. “You will be better behaved.” He was so tired. Driving all night to Missouri had not been his idea of a detour but Liz had insisted. Her visions were driving him nuts. He would just lay his head down for a minute.

“Dean Winchester!”

He snapped his head up groggily. “It wasn’t me.” He tried to open his eyes but the diner lights were too bright. The figure approaching his table was definitely feminine. Wiping the sleep from his eyes, he recognized her immediately. “Cassie?”

“So, it is you.” She tilted her head at him. “You look good.”

“Yeah.” He nodded, struggling to fully waken. “You, too. What are you doing in…” Where the hell were they? Stopping for visions weren’t an exact science. At this rate, they were never getting to Roswell before the summer was over.

“You’re in Anguilla, Dean.”

“Right and you’re here…”

“I’m doing a story on a rash of murders.”

“Oh… No, no. You don’t want to do that.” Dean shook his head. His wits were finally coming back to him. “You want to stay as far away from that story as possible.”

She looked to the ceiling and took a breath. “Is this one of your jobs?”

“Maybe.” He nodded.

“I don’t see you for years and then when I do, it’s because of that.”

“It’s not like I’ve been pining and planning for a way to meet up with you, Cassie.” Dean winced when his voice reached a pitch that startled the baby. “Crap.” Sliding out of the booth, he went about unlatching the baby from the carrier. “Hey, hey, hey. No problems. No problems. Sh. Sh. Sh.”

“What moron let you watch their kid?” Cassie moved in for a closer look at the baby.

“Cassie Robinson, meet John Winchester.” The baby settled as soon as Dean held him in his arms.

“Sam’s baby?” Cassie breathed out.

“My baby, thank you.” Dean shook his head.

“You have a child?” She crossed her arms. “Really?”

“Look. You and me, that was a long time ago. Now I have a kid.” Dean spotted Adam returning from the bathroom. “Two kids.”

“Two kids. You. Right.”

“This is Adam.” Dean gestured to the boy sliding into the booth.

“That one’s too old to be your son.”

“I’m his stepson.” Adam answered. “I’m gonna tell Liz.”

“Sh.” Dean made a face at the boy.

“Who’s Liz?” Cassie addressed the little boy.

“His wife.”

“Oh, you’re married. Well, I can honestly say that I didn’t see that coming.” She raised her eyebrows. “Does she know what you do for a living?”

“Yeah, I do.” Liz answered for him and took her son from him. “Hi sweetie, Mommy’s back.”

“I think I scared him.” Dean admitted.

“How long did he sleep?”

“Like… an hour?”

“He needs to go back down.”

“Um…” Dean cleared his throat. “Cassie, this is my wife, Liz. Liz, this is Cassie.”

“Nice to meet you.” Liz nodded to her as she tried to settle her son.

“Nice to meet you.” Cassie gave Dean a look. “I have work to do.”

“Stay away from the story, Cassie.” Dean warned as she walked away.

Liz got busy pacing with the baby as a waitress took their orders. Dean stared at the table for the longest time until… “So, that was your ex?”

“Um… yeah…” Dean nodded as she slid in next to him.

“She wasn’t that pretty.” Adam announced.

Liz snickered and rubbed Dean’s leg to get his attention. “She was kind of cute… maybe you do have standards.”

“Hot chick or bust… except for that waitress in Tampa.” Dean shuddered, going for the joke end of the situation. He stared at her hard. “A lot changes in just one year, Liz.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“I haven’t seen Cassie since… ’06 maybe.”

“Okay…” She tilted her head at him wondering where he was going with this line.

“That’s about five years… Longer than I’ve known you. One year ago, we had a conversation that changed my life forever.”

“We did?” Liz met his gaze for the longest time. “Oh.”

“Yeah, oh.” He nodded. “We didn’t know shit last year. I do know that tonight, we’re gonna kill this thing. I’ll probably save an ex’s life and then I’ll never see her again. By our anniversary, no later, we’ll be in Roswell where there are a hundred and one babysitters willing to take our monsters for the night.”

“Promise?”

“Promise.”

--

Cassie crossed her arms and paced the room. “This is so typical. He runs off into the night to battle something that no one can see and he leaves the women and children to cower in a room, waiting for the hero’s return.”

“You and I don’t know each other well but I can already tell you that you don’t know Dean.” Liz shook her head as she dressed her son in fresh clothes. “If it was a demon, he would have left you here to watch the kids and I would be with him. This is just a disgruntled ghost and frankly, you will not find me digging up any graves in the middle of the night. I’d prefer sitting and waiting this one out.”

“How are you so calm about all of this?”

“Her first husband was an alien.” Adam answered from where he was throwing punches at a mirror. “Her second husband is a demon hunter. No big whoop… hey… if he dies, can I pick the next one’s occupation?”

“You. You’re not funny.” Liz chided him softly.

“You talk about it all the time.”

“It’s not funny even then.” Liz bopped him on the head when he passed by. She straightened John’s shirt then took a good look at the logo on the front. “Daddy and I are going to have a talk about him sneaking AC/DC shirts into your diaper bag.”

“AC/DC is awesome.” Adam protested.

“I’m outnumbered. Where is Sam when you need him.” Liz groaned as she hefted her heavy boy into her arms.

“Where is Sam?” Cassie turned from the window.

“Minding the store.” Liz shrugged. “He volunteered to stay behind while we went to visit my parents.”

“It’s a bar, not a store.” Adam cut in.

“It’s a figure of speech.” Liz cut her eyes at him before continuing. “Sam and his girlfriend are in an awkward place, taking off just now would make it near impossible to… fix things.”

“Sam’s a nice guy, I hope that works out for him.”

“Yeah, me too.” Liz watched Cassie pace in her peripheral vision. She finally cleared her throat. “Can I ask you something?”

“What’s that?” Cassie turned from the window at last.

“Why didn’t you believe him when he told you?”

“Let’s just say that you and I met Dean under very different circumstances.” Cassie shook her head.

Liz made sure that Adam was thoroughly engrossed in a TV show before she responded. “Dean walked into the bar where I work and leered at me, then he said, ‘I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that I can bounce a quarter off your ass and into a shot glass and if I can’t, I’ll just have to be your sex slave until I work it off.’ Needless to say, I was not his biggest fan from the get-go.”

“You forgave a lame line like that?”

“I was married. I told him that if he bounced a quarter off my ass he’d be spending the next six years picking his teeth out of the field.” Liz shrugged. “It’s not like Dean and I spent a lot of time courting… then again, I knew what he did before that started up.”

“Why’d you believe him?”

“I saw it with my own two eyes… I guess that helps some.”

“It’s just crazy to say it out loud.”

“A lot of things are.” Liz stood to begin pacing John to sleep. “I met Dean just after his father died. Over time, he became a friend of mine and my husband’s… after Max died… Sam helped to put me back together. Dean and I… fought it for over a year but it was probably inevitable… Less than a year later, I was pregnant and we were married and now we’ve taken in Max’s son from another relationship and Sam’s in love with a girl and it’s just… working.”

“I think I was scared the first time Dean and I were together… I was in college and I didn’t want this big thing and then he tells me he hunts evil… so I cut him loose… and when I needed his help, he came.” Cassie turned back to the window. “I kind of realized that while I liked what we had… it wasn’t ever going to be enough. Don’t get me wrong, I think Dean is smart but he doesn’t let himself stay on that level with me… we fight and we makeup and that’s the part that worked…” She pulled a chain out of her blouse. “I’ve been engaged on and off to the same man for… three years. I never really committed to him because my mom keeps asking me what about Dean? Like I’ve been waiting for him all this time… and now… I realize that I wasn’t. It just wasn’t ever going to work but it was a good excuse to keep other things from working.”

“I hear you.” Liz’s head turned to the window when the Impala rumbled into the lot.

Dean bounded in a moment later, sweaty, filthy and bruised. He stopped inside the door and looked between them. “Did I miss something?”

“They were telling stories on you.” Adam pronounced from his perch on the end of a bed in front of the TV.

Standing up straight, he nodded and set his shotgun in front of the door. “Okay. I see… I’m gonna go get cleaned up, then.”

“I’m hungry.” Adam announced as he clicked off the TV and gave up any pretense of not listening.

“Starve, you tattle-tale.” Liz swatted him as Dean disappeared into the bathroom.

“I’ll bet Dean is hungry, too.”

“Probably.” Liz sighed and shifted John from one shoulder to the other. “This little guy is good until he sees Daddy eating.”

“Well, glad to see he hasn’t totally changed.” Cassie grabbed her purse. “I assume the coast is clear for me to go back to my room?”

“I would think so.”

“I still have people to interview and somehow keep this… supernatural aspect out of the papers.” She turned at the door. “Is it ever over? I mean, will you ever live a normal life? Dean told me it all started with something that killed his mom…”

“We killed it last week… We were on our way to visit my parents and Adam’s grandparents when I had a vision of something killing in Michigan. The afternoon after Dean took care of that, I had a vision of something killing here in Anguilla.” Liz explained. “It could be over, if we wanted it to be… but so long as I’m getting visions of innocent people dying… we can’t ignore it. Too many innocent people have lost their lives fighting it for us to ignore the innocent lives who don’t know how.”

“Visions… how’s that working out for you?”

“Once she stops tripping over stuff, she’s cool.” Adam popped up between them. “Can I pick dinner? Dean always orders pizza, I’m sick of pizza.”

“How can you guys eat again?” Liz groaned. “You ate the diner out of waffles, you ate hamburgers bigger than your head for lunch and you did have dinner. Sandwiches and chips.”

“Come on, Mom… he’s a growing boy.” Cassie ruffled his hair.

“She’s not my mom. She’s my stepmom.” Adam rushed to fix his hair.

“How does that work exactly?”

“Biomom died. Biodad gave me up for adoption. Adopted parents died too. Then I found out Biodad was dead too. Biodad’s wife.” He pointed to Liz. “Stepmom… and husband number two.” He pointed to Dean when he emerged from the shower. Then he pointed to himself. “Well-adjusted and supercool kid.”

“Sometimes… you just want a roll of duct tape.” Liz kissed his head. “And maybe a time machine to keep him this age. I shudder to think what kind of monster Dean will turn him into once he hits those teen years.”

“What did I do?” Dean tossed his towel aside to join the party at the door. “I thought we were…” Dean looked down at the kid, wearing a too-big Zeppelin shirt and too much gel in his hair. “Yeah, well, I gotta train him well.”

One week later…
(July 18, 2011)

Liz sat awkwardly in the Evans kitchen while Diane pulled a batch of cookies out of the oven. Philip, Dean and Adam were outside looking at the Impala’s exterior. Dean had been warned about showing the inside of the trunk.

“How did Adam get along up there?”

“Okay.” Liz turned from the window to face her late husband’s mother. “He’s got a few friends already. He likes the school. He adores Bobby, that’s Dean’s boss at the garage… and I think he’s got a crush on Dean.”

“I can see that.” Diane had a laugh. “Adam looks so much like Max at that age… Does he ask about him?”

“Yeah. He asks about both of them… Let me tell you… it’s teaching me to be a better person by not focusing on her lesser traits.”

“I’m sure you do the same for Max.”

“Oh no. I tell him everything I can about Max. Good and bad. He needs to know that Max was a person and that it’s okay to make mistakes… that wasn’t one of Max’s best traits.” She took a breath. “It also helps that Dean will talk about Max, too.”

“I didn’t realize that they were such good friends.”

“Me either… I guess they really respected one another… and it’s probably some guy thing that I’ll never understand.”

“Well, Adam is definitely smitten with your family.” Diane joined Liz to gaze out the window. “I don’t know how he’ll take moving here.”

Liz didn’t say a word. That had been the original plan from day one. As soon as the demon was dead, they were going to give Adam to the Evans. Adam staying with them was temporary. He was always, always going to be with his family in the end. Liz was saved by the baby monitor. Snatching it up, she went to retrieve John from his nap in the guest room. She returned with her hungry fella for Diane to pinch and squeeze.

“He is so beautiful.” Diane cooed.

“And he eats like a lumberjack.”

“Surely not. He looks small.”

“He’s growing so fast. He’s eating up now, though.”

“Was he overly small?”

“No, but he was skin and bones. I was so afraid he’d get sick because he was skinny and winter is so cold sometimes.”

“Well, he’s perfectly healthy now.”

“Yes. Inherited his daddy’s appetite.”

“How are the two of you doing with all the changes this year?”

“It’s brought us together, I think. Nothing like responsibility to make you grow up a little.”

“Yes, it will do that.”

Dean marched in with Adam hanging from his biceps. “Grandma Evans, we’re hungry.”

“I’m warning you.” Liz cleared her throat. “Once you commit to feeding these two, you may never stop.”

“He’s a growing boy.” Dean defended Adam.

“Then what’s your excuse?”

Adam jumped down and held a hand out to each Winchester. “Children, please. Let the woman cook.”

“We need to put a muzzle on him.” Dean feinted toward the boy, who jumped but covered by hopping onto a stool at the island.

“Well, I ordered in.” Diane winked at her grandson. “Have a cookie to tide you over.”

--

Adam was near to tears when Dean and Liz rose to leave. He was supposed to stay the night with his grandparents. Dean and Liz were down the road at the Crashdown with her parents. He stood and started to speak but he couldn’t get the words out and the adults didn’t leave any breaks where he could get in a word. He whimpered softly and hoped no one heard him but he saw Dean’s attention leave the conversation.

Dean saw Adam’s face, then cleared his throat. “I think Adam needs to show me his room first.”

“Um… okay.” Liz sat back down and made small talk while they disappeared.

--

Liz peered into the backseat to look at the baby, snoozing, then to Dean. “So what was all that about? I didn’t hear Adam ask you to see his room.”

“He was freaking out… so we did some salt and holy water sigils. He’ll be good till morning.” Dean shrugged her off and concentrated on steering the Impala back to the restaurant. Then he felt her eyes burning a hole through his skull. “What?”

“He doesn’t really know them.”

“It’s not like he knows us that well.”

“He knows us better.”

“He’ll be fine.”

“They want to keep him indefinitely.”

“Wasn’t that the plan?” Dean looked her in the eyes as he pulled into a spot in front of the Crashdown.

“Yeah, it was.” She lowered her voice and took a breath.

“Wants and wishes don’t always happen Liz. It’s one night.”

“I know.”

The next morning…
(July 19, 2011)

Liz woke to Dean’s voice rumbling in his chest beneath her ear. “No, no. It’s okay. It’s okay… I hear you… Adam, calm down for me… listen… I’ve been through here before. There are no monsters in Roswell. I promise you that.” He cleared his throat. “Do you still have the holy water I gave you?” There was a long pause. “So, you redrew the sigils, that’s good… and checked the salt lines… okay… Buddy, you’re set. Nothing is getting in that room. Try to get some sleep while you can, little man… I know… We won’t… yeah, we’ll stop by today…”

Dean closed his phone and waited for Liz to jump on the chance to go pick Adam up. She didn’t. She just lay there and didn’t say a word. He knew she wasn’t asleep because her breathing never evened out. He cleared his throat but waited for her to speak, which she did after ten agonizing minutes. “Was that Adam?”

“You know it was.”

“Is he okay?”

“Just a monster in the closet… but not a real one.”

“Okay.”

--

Liz watched her mom fawn over the boys. Adam, in true nature, ate it all up. The two of them and Diane had a good time watching Adam’s antics as he played up the center of attention bit while the men manned the grill with beer in hand.

“Isabel told me that he was a little ham but he was so quiet last night after the kids left.” Diane leaned over to tell Nancy.

“Really?”

“He seemed almost shy. This Adam right here is the little boy that I wish Max had been able to be with us. The one we got last night… just like Max when we first got him. He was distant and quiet and I think he was crying last night.”

“Oh no.” Nancy gasped.

“So then Yvette asked me if I could do a handstand but I can’t… so I fell down.” Adam finished explaining to Liz.

“Do you want to learn?” Liz asked, trying to listen to her mother and Diane whisper while still paying attention to Adam’s story.

“Yeah, when we go home I’ve got to win a bet. Think Dean can teach me?”

“If you ask him, sure.” Liz nodded and turned her head to check on the baby. Her eyes a little wet at hearing him call South Dakota home.

“Liz, honey, Isabel said she’d be here in a few days.” Diane interrupted.

“Aunt Izzy?” Adam gave them a lopsided smile.

“You miss her?” Liz brushed his hair out of his face, blinking rapidly to dry her own eyes.

“Yeah. She’s bossy but she’s nice.”

“Sounds like my daughter.” Diane sighed and shook her head. “Why don’t you go get those men to play catch with you?”

“Awesome, where’s the ball?” Adam leapt up and hit the ground running to tug on Dean’s arm.

“So, he’s been getting on well with you two?” Diane began.

“Uh-huh.” Liz narrowed her eyes a bit, they had gone over all this the afternoon before.

“How is he with the baby?” Nancy cut in.

“Really good, actually.” Liz smiled to herself. “I walked into the kitchen a few months ago and Adam was changing John’s diaper but he assured me because it was only wet and if it had been muddy that it was my job.”

“He knew how to change a diaper?” Diane smiled broadly.

“Dean taught him. Apparently, while I’m in the shower in the mornings, the guys learn all sorts of things without me.”

“Liz… have… have you and Dean thought about maybe adopting Adam?” Diane led slowly. “He obviously adores the two of you and he’s getting along so well…”

“We… hadn’t discussed it, actually.” Liz dropped her eyes to her hands. “I kind of promised Isabel that we’d follow her plan and… we have so far. We got rid of the immediate threats…” She took a breath. “I can’t… really imagine living in the bar without him, though. He’s… made himself a little niche…”

“It’s just a suggestion.” Diane placed her hand on Liz’s.

“It’s not that I don’t want him. I adore him… but really… all Max ever wanted for him was a normal life.” Liz let her eyes meet both of theirs. “It’s not a question of wanting him or loving him to pieces… I want to do right by him. He’s been through so much already.”

“Maybe the three of you should sit down and discuss it.” Nancy prompted.

“You’re right. We should.”

TBC

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DMartinez
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Re: These Dreams (SN,XO,UC,Mature) Pro-Epilogue 1/19/08

Post by DMartinez » Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:52 am

Epilogue – Five years later…
(October 30, 2016)

“My Family by Adam Douglas. Five years ago, my parents died in a train wreck. That’s when I found out that they weren’t my real parents. My real mom died when I was nine months old and she didn’t have any family to speak of. My real dad was 18 years old and didn’t know how to give me the things I needed so he gave me up. When the social worker called me into the room, I was nine years old. She told me that she found my family but that my real dad had died. He was only 25 when he died but he had a sister with a rich husband who lived just one state over. They were coming to take me home. My aunt is a tall woman with blonde hair and a lot of love. I have two cousins through her. She told me how much I looked like my dad and that she loved me but she wasn’t the one who would take care of me. That’s when I met my real dad’s wife; his widow who had gotten remarried and had a kid. I didn’t want to like them at first. I stayed with them for three months before they took me to meet my grandparents. They were supposed to leave me with my real dad’s parents but after a couple of weeks, they changed their mind. I still live with my real dad’s widow and her husband but three years ago I started calling them Mom and Dad. Now I have a brother and a sister who aren’t so bad now that they can talk. I still have an aunt and uncle through my real dad but also an uncle on my new dad’s side. He’s getting married next month. I have two cousins that I talk to on the phone. My real dad’s parents send me presents when they feel like it, which is once a month. My new mom’s parents send me presents when I make honor roll and at holidays. It’s a little weird to be the only one in the family that’s not blood related but my real dad was adopted and so was his sister. Maybe it’s not as weird as I thought. Maybe my family tree isn’t very neat and tidy but it’s mine and that makes it all the more special. There’s a lot of sad business when I talk about my family but every family has their share of ups and downs. By my count, I’m due for some major ups in the future. It’s been pretty sweet so far when it hasn’t been down. My Uncle Bobby, who isn’t really an uncle so much as a family friend, always says that you have to take your family where you can get it because people die or move away. ‘Family isn’t what you’re born with, it’s what you make out of the people you would trust with your life. Keep those close to your heart.’”

“Five hundred words… including the title but I’ll give it to you.” The teacher put down the bean counter.

“Awesome.” Adam nodded and took his seat again.

“Dude, you suck!”

“Lame!”

“Lifetime Movie Award!”

“Silence from the Peanut Gallery!” The teacher rose from his seat in the middle of the room. “Honesty got the young man through his paper. He wrote about something he knew, something that was obviously important to him. You all could learn something from him.” Standing in front of his classroom full of monkeys, he sighed. “The exercise is not to write great literature. It is to identify yourself in 500 words, whichever those 500 words might be.”

The bell rang and all the kids ran out the door before the teacher could get another word out. Adam took his time packing his things to go home. He looked up when the teacher stood in front of his desk. “Yeah?”

“How true is your essay?”

“100 per cent.” Adam picked up his bag to leave.

“This is some heavy stuff and you seem to be dealing okay but if you ever think you might want to talk to someone, I can make a recommendation to the counselor.”

“Nah… lots of family friends to talk to. I gotta jet. My turn to feed the kids tonight.”

Adam managed to get out of the school without anyone holding him up very long. Yvette waved at him, shyly, from her crowd of friends. He had never quite figured out why they had stopped hanging out after school but at least she didn’t hate him all of a sudden. He made quick work of the mile and a half from the school to the bar. He slipped in and grabbed Macky before she could run away. “Where’s Mom?”

“Johnny!” She squealed when he began to tickle her.

“She ran out to pick him up from school.” Bobby cleared his throat from where he was reading the newspaper. “Macky was keeping me company.”

“Hey Uncle Bobby.” Adam planted himself on the other side of the table with Macky in his lap. “How’s Max doing?”

“Better but he’s still tossing up his dinner. Vet thinks it’s just a virus but if he don’t start keeping something down, it’s over.” Bobby folded his hands over his paper. He almost preferred having demons kill his dogs than for them to die of illness. “Maybe you can go sit with him later.”

“Yeah, you know I will.” Adam nodded then lifted Macky onto his shoulders. “Staying for dinner? I’m cooking.”

“Boy, I’d rather eat glass.”

Adam swung Macky around through the air until he could set her on the island in the kitchen. Apparently, it had been a slow day because nothing had been turned on at all. He listened to her chatter as he dug the mac and cheese box out of a cabinet then set to finding something in the refrigerator that wouldn’t get him fired as the Friday night cook. Liz came in the back door with Johnny in tow. “Good, you’re home.”

“Came straight home as instructed…” He briefly showed her the reheat roast and the vegetables on the counter behind him. She nodded and scooped Macky off the table to press kisses all over her face. “Hey… um… can I ask you something?”

“I don’t know when Dean’s coming home.” Liz shook her head at him.

“I know that he had to go… the FBI…” Adam sighed cause he really wanted to talk to Dean about it but no one knew when it would be safe for him to come home. “It’s a girl… thing.”

“Okay…” Liz set Macky down and patted John’s head. “Kids, go play with Uncle Bobby.” She sat down and waited for Adam to keep talking as he focused very intently on getting dinner into the oven and pots of water boiling. “Adam…”

“I don’t want to talk to my mom about this stuff.” Adam prefaced with a gesture that she was not to get offended. “Yvette stopped hanging out around here and she didn’t tell me why. I see her at school but we don’t talk anymore. The most I can figure is that it’s a girl thing. I just thought we were better friends than that.”

“I see.” Liz tried to hide her smile as she leaned on the table top. “She not mad at you, is she?”

“Well, no… She waves and stuff but…”

“Maybe… and this is just a maybe… I’m not going to pretend that I remember high school or anything.” She flashed him the briefest of smiles. “Maybe the reason she stopped hanging out around here is not because she doesn’t like you.”

“But if she still likes me then why…” He turned to see her raised eyebrows. “Oh.”

“Yeah. ‘Oh.’ So maybe you stop focusing on the fact that she’s not playing ball with you and maybe try asking her to do something else.”

“Like what? I’m a year away from driving her to a movie.”

“So you DO like her!” Liz exclaimed and made him blush.

“I never said that I didn’t.” Adam tried to dig his way out of his hole. “I just… She’s pretty. Okay? I said it. I think she’s pretty and if that’s what she wants then maybe but…”

“Adam…” Liz reached over and gripped his hand. “Don’t ask her out because you think it’s what she wants. Ask her out because you really want to. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“Just… invite her over. Rent some movies or invite her to dinner.” She patted his hands. “But under no circumstances are you to be unsupervised.”

He scoffed but nodded. When she stood up, he rolled his eyes. “I know, watch the kids and let you know what time dinner is ready.”

“You’re such a good boy.” She reached over to pinch his cheek.

--

It was slow. Dreadfully slow because tomorrow was Halloween and everyone was hunting up costumes and driving out to Baxter or Rutherford for parties. Hunters were taking it easy. It was perfect for catching up on ledgers or doing inventory but it also meant putting a delay on new orders to make sure current inventory was going to get used. Sighing, Liz leaned on the bar to glance over her ledger. She didn’t bother to look up when the door opened. Not even when the shadow fell over her. “Can I get a beer and some pussy?”

Liz had her hand on her gun before she looked up to find the green eyes of her husband. “Don’t do that, I was so ready to put a bullet in your forehead.” She shook her head at him even as she was draping herself across the bar to grip his face between her hands. “I’m so glad you’re home.”

“Yeah, me too.” Dean breathed out against her lips. He hauled her over the top of the bar and just held her close. The last seven months had been hard. Little to no contact, constantly on the move, killing demons with his brother by his side. Just like old times except that now Dean had something to look forward to when he needed a break.

“You really shouldn’t use come-ons like that.” She chided him softly. “You’re the father of a beautiful little girl and just think if some honorable man or hunter or fireman came into this bar and greeted her that way.”

“Won’t ever happen. Not to my daughter.” Dean shook his head but didn’t let her go. “Where are the little heathens?”

“In the kitchen.”

“Leave ‘em there… just for a little bit.” He managed to have five more minutes to reacquaint himself with his wife before the inevitable happened.

“Daddy home!” Macky came barreling out of the kitchen and jumped up, having every faith in the world that her daddy would catch her.

Dean caught her and tossed her up, catching her again easily before squeezing her against his chest and pressing a noisy kiss to her face. His own eyes stared back at him from her mother’s face, though it seemed like she’d gotten a light dusting of freckles across her nose over the summer. “How’s my girl?”

“I mish you.” She threw her arms around his neck and squeezed.

Dean shut his eyes and held on to her. The last time he’d seen her was the week after her third birthday. “Daddy missed you, too.”

She sat up in his arms and threw her little hands out wide. “I big now.”

“Yeah, you are, Mary Mack. Stop growing. What’s Mommy feeding you?”

“Veggiebles.” Macky smacked her lips.

“Daddy!” Johnny ran through the bar and launched himself at his father’s knees.

“There’s my boy.” Dean reached down to haul him up onto his hip so he could hug that one as well. “You’re definitely bigger.”

John posed with one arm so his dad could see the muscles he’d built over the summer. “I can beat up Adam.”

“Speak of the devil, where is he?” Dean frowned at Liz.

“Fixing dinner.” Liz lowered her voice. “He’s having girl problems.”

“Right… it’s that time.” Dean nodded and tried to walk all four of them into the kitchen. Then he caught site of the oldest of his little brood. “Look how pretty that is. Do you have an apron to go with those smells?”

“That’s sexist, Dean Winchester.” Liz pinched his chest before moving away to help Adam finish up dinner.

“Hey.” Adam barely looked up from the table.

“What? No love?” Dean faked a broken heart as he deposited each of his other children into their respective seats at the table. He took his seat and looked to the younger two. “Is my timing impeccable or what? Home in time for kisses and dinner.”

“Where’d you drop Sam?” Liz turned suddenly.

“Where do you think I dropped him? I made a special trip, out of my way to drop him first so that I could come home and stay home with my loving family.”

“Stop being facetious.” Liz shook her head at him.

“What’s fash-see-shus?” Johnny asked from where he sat swinging his feet.

“It means that Daddy’s making fun.”

“Daddy is having fun. I’m not being mean. I’m teasing.” Dean tried to clarify but it was clear that his five year old was not all that interested. “Anyway. Uncle Sam said he’d drive down on Sunday. He has presents for you guys.”

“Did you bring us presents?” Johnny climbed up on his knees to lean on the table.

Dean’s eyes went wide for a second. “Presents? Who needs presents when Daddy brings home stories?”

“Where’d you go?”

“Let’s save the scarier stories for when he’s older, huh?” Liz cut in.

“Okay, let me tell you about the time that my dad went hunting a chupacabra…”

--

Dean leaned in the doorway with his beer. Adam had been quiet all night. “Hey man.”

“Hey.” Adam didn’t even look up from his book.

Dean walked in, shut the door behind him and took a seat on the end of the bed. He took a swig out of his bottle then held it out to Adam. Just as Dean was going to retract his offering, Adam put his book down and took the bottle. He smelled it a bit before he took a swig. Dutifully, he handed it back as he fought the taste to get it down his throat. “You ready to talk to me, now?”

“I’m being a dick. I know.” Adam admitted. He shook his head. “It’s just… I needed to talk to you and you didn’t answer your phone and I talked to Liz and that’s when you came home. I know it’s not your fault but…”

“Yeah, I know. Being a teenager sucks.”

“I bet you kissed a girl before you were 15.”

“You’d be right.”

“I’ll bet you’d already lost your virginity, too.”

“Nah.” Dean shook his head. “That came when I was almost 17 but you know… you’re not me. I was always in trouble, I was already killing evil things… I got in everything that I could while I could in case I died.”

“That’s kind of depressing.”

“Yeah, it was.”

“My adopted dad always said that he wished he had been a better man but I don’t know what he meant by that…” Adam shrugged. “I was 9, it’s not like I was ready for the birds and the bees.”

“Liz told me that she was Max’s first kiss. He was already 16. You were the product of his first time… so… I guess he was 17?”

“I’m not asking Liz that.”

“I don’t blame you.” Dean pulled on his beer and offered another sip but it was refused. “Listen, either it happens or it doesn’t. So, who’s the girl that’s got you all twisted up?”

“Yvette… like always.” Adam scoffed and leaned back against the wall. “It’s stupid. We were best friends until I hit high school and all of a sudden we can’t have a conversation. Then it’s… We’re in the same school again and… she’s not mad at me but she’s not talking to me and… Mom says she likes me but if she does, why doesn’t she talk to me?”

“Dude… I don’t understand Mom and I’m married to her. If I had to relive high school… any of them…” Dean made a face at the sheer number of high schools that he had attended. “I would rather swallow a flaming pile of dog shit.”

“That bad?”

“Yeah. Always being the new kid. Sometimes getting in with the girls, sometimes not. Sometimes walking into a lover’s spat without knowing it. Be glad you already know her.”

“Mom said I should ask her out.”

“Do you want to?”

“Well, yeah. I mean… she’s pretty… and she’s nice.” Adam frowned. “And I saw her talking to Austin and I wanted to punch his lights out.”

“Did you?”

“No.”

“Okay. So, ask her out already.”

“And do what? It’s not like I can drive…” He caught the look on Dean’s face. “Legally, anyway.”

“Dude, there are all sorts of things that you can do with a girl that do not involve a car. Trust me.” Dean got up and finished off his bottle. “So, ask her out, date her… whatever. If you do think you’re going all the way, use a condom. I’m still far too young to be a granddad… and also… the age of consent is 16… so uh… don’t get caught until after both of you are 16.”

“Such a great speech, there, Dad.”

“Hey, at least you got one. My dad handed me a Playboy and told me not to go blind.” Dean reached for the door. “I did get chased with a shotgun more than once… so be ware.”

“Hey Dean…” Adam stopped him from leaving. “Thanks.”

“My phone got demolished by a werewolf in Pensacola or else I would have picked up. Sorry.” Dean suddenly frowned as he backed out of the room. “What are you even doing home on a Friday night?”

“Oh… right… I’m supposed to tell you.” Adam rose from his bed and held out his arms. “I got into a fight with Austin the first week of school during football tryouts… I’m banned from the games this season.”

“Did you kick his ass?”

“Yeah.”

“What’d he do?”

“Said something about someone that he shouldn’t have.”

“Who?” Dean narrowed his eyes.

“Mom.”

“And what did this Austin have to say about Mom?”

“It’s not so much what he said about her as much as what he implied about her by saying that the bar used to be a brothel back a long time ago and that history repeats itself… so, I decked him.”

“Good. As far as I’m concerned, you did nothing wrong and you didn’t kill the twerp so hopefully it’s a lesson learned.” Dean caught Liz’s eye down the hallway. “What?”

“Nothing.” She shook her head and disappeared down the stairs to go back to the bar.

Dean rolled his eyes and made his next stop. The little ones were playing a game with some kind of cartoon character on their cards. Johnny was trying to teach Macky how to play but she just wanted to giggle at the funny faces on the cards. Dean sucked it up and hunkered down on the floor to mess up their game some more.

--

Liz slid into bed and framed herself around Dean. He ran his fingers down her back for the longest moment. “So, what did I do wrong?”

“Dean… he shouldn’t be encouraged to fight.”

“He knows what he did was wrong but he had a noble reason for doing it.”

“I know he did but you shouldn’t advocate his wrongdoings.”

“Okay.”

“I missed you.”

“God, I missed you.” Dean rolled into her and found her mouth in the darkness.

“Dean, hurry, they’ll start asking for water and stories again any moment now.” Liz begged as she tore at his shorts.

The next morning…
(Halloween, 2016)

Liz woke with a knee in her back and an elbow in her stomach. The sun wasn’t up yet but she could not bear that position for a second longer. Dean had the same weary expression on his face. He raised an eyebrow at her. “It’s a good thing we got our time in last night. Macky racked me in her sleep. I’m still seeing stars.”

“Oh Dean.” She reached over and slid a hand behind his neck.

An amused snort from the doorway made them look up. Adam. “I’m going over to Bobby’s to help him with Max… have fun, lovebirds.”

“He’s too chipper for this early in the morning.” Dean groaned.

“Pete volunteered to work Saturdays for Bobby… sometimes Yvette tags along.”

“Ah, mystery solved.” He turned his thoughts around. “He’s a pretty sweet kid. It’s not that he doesn’t get into trouble but… despite everything… he’s an optimist but in a realistic sort of way.”

“Yeah… no clue who he got that from.”

“Come on. Let’s get these brats awake and tired out by sundown.”

--

Liz wrapped up a picnic lunch when Adam didn’t return to the bar for his noon meal. She dropped lunch off in Bobby’s kitchen, then went in search of the men. She found them in the back of the garage’s property. Both men were on their knees, peering under an old car. When Liz got closer, she could see the tears in their eyes. Bobby blinked rapidly but didn’t take his eyes off the shadowed area under the car. Adam had no such restraint. “He won’t come out.” His chin quivered when he looked up at her. “I’ve tried everything. He’s really sick. If he doesn’t keep anything down, he’ll die.” He shook his head when she started to speak. “When I try to climb in to get him out, he snaps at me.”

Liz took his outstretched arm in her hands and saw the red bite marks that didn’t quite break the skin. “Oh, Adam…”

“No, don’t say it…” He shook his head at her and tried to climb under the car once more. Max bared his teeth but didn’t rise. The growl was weak but his head whipped around to bite at Adam’s ankle. He missed but he kept his teeth unsheathed.

Bobby watched the boy maneuver the tight space to lie alongside the sick dog. Eventually, Max calmed and let Adam stroke his neck and ears. “Boy, be careful.”

“He shouldn’t die alone.” Adam ducked his head into Max’s neck. “He’s been a good dog.”

“The vet thinks that whatever damage he had when we first got him… might have been enough to disrupt whatever immunity he had.” Bobby whispered to Liz. “I shoulda took him in when I got him but… I done this with all my dogs. He was doing good.”

“It’s not your fault, Bobby.” Liz reassured him. “Dogs die. They get abused. They get better and sometimes they get sick.”

“And I know it but that one never lost a pet before.” He pointed under the car where Adam was willing life to stay inside the pile of fur and bones in his arms.

The next afternoon
(November 1, 2016)

Sam found himself presiding over a dog funeral. Adam had insisted. Liz had her hands full with her babies asking ‘how come?’ and ‘why?’ Dean stroked Macky’s back as they began filling in the grave. Sam looked to his brother. “So much for a cheerful reunion.”

“It is what it is.” Dean shrugged.

“Hey…” Yvette joined the group. “I found his ball.” She held out the ratty thing for Adam to take. He took it from her and held it a moment before he tossed it into the hole near Max’s head. Then he focused singularly on filling the grave.

Bobby shook his head and put on his hat. “I’m not getting anymore dogs.” He turned and ambled his way back to the garage.

“He’ll have a new dog by next month.”

“I don’t know, Dean…” Sam shook his head and grabbed the shovel to help. “It took him a long time after Rumsfeld died to get a new dog. Maybe he’s finally had it.”

“There are few constants in this life, Sam. Bobby saving dogs is one of those few.”

“Maybe this time, we get him a puppy. A nice healthy puppy with all its shots and tags.” Adam scooped handful after handful of dirt into the hole, sniffing and wiping at his face. He had dirt everywhere.

Dean and Liz exchanged a look. Macky started squirming to get down. “I wan help.”

“No.” Dean shook his head and readjusted his grasp on her.

“I wan help.”

“No, you’re not—“ Dean blinked when her little hand slapped his cheek hard.

“Mary Mackenzie Winchester.” Liz gasped. “You don’t hit Daddy.”

“You know what? It’s nap time.” Dean told the little girl who had started to cry the instant her mother had blurted out all three of her names.

“I sorry. I sorry.” Macky wailed as she was hauled back into the bar to go to her room for naptime. “No nap. I sorry.”

--

Liz felt weird. She had buried a dog named after her late first husband. Adam had been spiteful when he named the dog but seemed to be truly mourning the old mutt. He and Yvette were sharing a plate of chili fries in the front booth where she could see them from her perch behind the bar. Dean stole a beer from the cooler and sat next to her. “Mary Mack is asleep.”

“Liar.”

“What? She is.”

“You only call her Mary Mack when she’s got you wrapped around her little finger.” She stole his beer to take a long pull.

“Okay, so maybe she settled for a time out.” He took his beer back. “So, when did he suddenly realize there was a girl in that little thing over there?”

“He’s been huffing and sighing for a while… I think it started when school started. She had stopped hanging around when he was a freshman, remember? Now she’s a freshman and he’s a sophomore and other sophomores have been checking her out.” She stared at him for a long moment. “I wonder who you were in high school. I try to picture it and all I get is you with no facial hair to speak of, a beer in hand and a leather jacket.”

“Pretty dead on, actually.” He winced and rubbed at his stubble. “And if she was a waitress, I was trying to get into her pants.”

“So, this thing for waitresses was not new?”

“Nah, one of my older favorites… eventually I broadened my horizons.”

They sat in silence, leaning against one another, passing a beer or four back and forth. Sam and Serena entertained Johnny with lots of toys they bought to spoil him with. A bag behind them was reserved for Macky when she woke up. Dean only managed to nudge Liz just in time to see Adam go in for the life changing moment of trying to kiss his best friend. Liz and Dean nearly fell off the stool when Adam realized they were watching and sent them a nasty look. Quickly, they pretended to examine the shelf for anything that wouldn’t get them in trouble for watching the first.

Liz stole his beer one more time to kill the bottle. He just stared at her for the longest time. “I love you… you know that right?”

“Yeah.” She nodded and let him lick the bitter taste of beer off her lips. She melted into him, tossing the empty into its bucket without a thought to aim. It landed with a clatter but her ears had long accustomed to that sound. They only stopped to breathe when someone beat a rhythm out on the bar top.

“Barkeep! Stop grossing out the kids and get me a beer.” Kyle’s voice cut through the silence.

Liz groaned and tilted her head back to look at him, letting Dean bury his face in her neck. “I thought Betty Lou cut you off.”

“This beer gut will not maintain itself. Anyway… she’s shopping with her mom in Rutherford.” Kyle shrugged and then shuddered. “Basinets and frilly baby… things.”

“Kisses can wait.” Liz kissed the top of Dean’s head before moving away to retrieve Kyle’s beer.

“Fill me in. What’d I miss? Obviously the return of the man of the house.” Kyle smiled at Dean’s extended middle finger. “Come on. I need to get in as much testosterone as I can before the baby arrives.”

“Johnny discovered the inside of his pants are different from the inside of a girl’s pants.” Dean moved around to sit next to Kyle. “It’s going to be an adventure.”

“What? Planning on staying still for a while?”

“FBI’s chasing their tails, Liz hasn’t had a vision in months. Sammy’s getting married next month.” Dean fiddled with the label on the fresh beer Liz handed him. “I guess I could stay put and enjoy my wife.”

“You mean life?”

“That, too.” Dean winked at his wife, who shook her finger at him before moving on to bus some tables and not so subtly eavesdrop on the teens in the front booth. Dean took a long pull on his beer and relaxed for the first time in his life before the kids started asking for money and toys and stories and all the other normal things that he’d missed since he was four. His running days were over. Let the FBI try to get him now. They’d have to take him kicking and screaming, with both barrels of alien-juiced-consecrated iron blazing.

The End.

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