They were half way back to the Impala in the Rite Aid parking lot before the fire truck sped past. Dean shook hands with Bobby and walked into an all-night Laundromat. He stripped his jeans off and dropped them in the dryer, not wanting John to find out that he had been hunting in town and without his father's knowledge. After the jeans were dried he slipped them on leaving them unbuttoned and pulled his shirt down.
Dean walked to the McDonald's and slipped into the bathroom. He pulled his boxers off, dropping them into the plastic Rite Aid bag Bobby had given him, along with the half empty condom box. He shimmied into his jeans and sighed. He and Bobby had been coming out for a few nights a week for the past two months looking for that demon bitch, and Dean was glad he could put that behind him. He had been missing some serious snuggle time with John, but his safety and the baby's safety came first.
Finally, Dean slid into the seat of the Impala behind the wheel and turned the engine over. The car stuttered and died. Dean flicked on the dome light and groaned. The gas gauge was sitting on empty.
Suddenly a figure appeared at the door of the drug store. She was tall and perky, cute in a way that might have attracted him, before. Dean watched her for a few minutes before recognizing her as one of the girls who worked at the library with Sam.
"Hey, Jenny." Dean shouted and she paused. "Jenny, can I ask you for a favor?"
She backed away until she also recognized him. "Oh, hi…you're Sam's brother?"
"Dean," he provided, and she nodded. "I'm out of gas. Would you mind driving me to the Chevron station?"
"Sure, no problem." She said and Dean shot her his most dazzling smile. He slid into the seat of the car, dropping the bag with his shorts and the condoms on the floor. It took only a few minutes to make the trip to the gas station and back. She stood dutifully holding the flashlight for him while he put the gas in the car. He thanked her, and she drove away. Almost an hour later than he had planed Dean parked the Impala, and let himself into the house.
Sam and John were in bed, when he slipped his clothes off and pulled the blanket up. John looked at the clock on the night table. "It's one am. You're keeping late hours."
"Sorry, I planned on being back a lot sooner. I'm beat, can we talk about this later." Dean felt like crap cutting him off, but he was wired from the hunt, and dead tired. John shrugged and settled back down.
John was researching a couple of possible cases for the boys the next day when the doorbell rang. He had quit his job at the garage, well actually, he had left and Dean had taken his place so John had a lot of time to research and record information in his journal.
Grumbling under his breath John rose and ambled to the door, tugging his shirt down to cover his belly. Glancing out the window he saw a girl standing on the front step. He vaguely remembered seeing her at the library when he went to pick up Sammy so he opened the door.
"Hi," she said perkily. John winced then offered her a tentative smile. "You're Sam's dad?"
"Yeah, John Cahill." He offered her his hand and she shook it. "You're…Jennifer?"
"Yeah, it's nice that you remembered. Can you give this to your son? We were kind of in a hurry and he left it in my car last night, and I thought he might need it."
She shoved a bag in his hands. John took it, noting the phone number scribbled on the bag in blue Sharpie.
"Yeah, I'll give it to Sam when he gets in." John said. She wrinkled her cute little nose at him, and then shook her head.
"No, not Sam. The older one—Dean. Make sure you tell him my number's on the bag."
"Okay." He closed the door dropping the bag on the table. He ignored it for forty-five minutes then caved and peeked inside. Suddenly his heart squeezed in his chest, and John was sure that he was having a heart attack. He felt sick. Turning the bag over he dumped the contents on the table. Dean's boxers and an open box of condoms tumbled out.
There didn’t seem to be enough air in the room. John's head ached, and his throat felt like sandpaper. Swallowing only added to the pain in his chest, and John stilled. He fought down the nausea only to find himself shuddering as sobs racked his body.
"Shit," he mumbled to himself. He was not going to sit here bawling like some teen-aged girl jilted by her prom date. That didn't seem to stop the tears sliding down his cheeks.
The door bounced open and John snapped. "Christ can you be a little more careful." He whirled scrubbing at his eyes with a trembling hand. Sam stood in the door with that deer caught in the headlights looks on his face. He frowned.
"Can’t you just give me a break, Dad?" He tossed several books he was carrying on the table beside the bag, as John made an unsuccessful attempt to push the underwear and condoms into the bag. "Jeeze, can't you and Dean keep your private life private…"
Sam settled into a chair. "Dad, are you crying?"
"No, Sammy, you know I don't cry."
"Since when, you cried all the time when we were kids. Just because you were in the shower when you did it, didn’t mean we didn't hear. It's okay." He fingered the bag, then picked it up. "Hey, that's Jenny's number. I've been trying to get it for weeks. Did she bring this by for me?"
"No, she brought it by for Dean. He left it in her car last night."
Sam sat up. "Shit, Dad…there has to be a reasonable explanation, other than the obvious one. Dean wouldn't do that. He loves you."
"Dean has every right to have a normal life. I understand that, Sammy. It just caught me by surprise. He could have told me. I wouldn't get in the way."
"Bullshit, you've been getting in the way of our having a normal life since Mom died." Sam said bitterly. John winced. Sam gulped took one look at John's tearstained face and red-rimmed eyes, and felt like he had just kicked somebody's puppy. "That's not what I meant to say. Dad, you aren’t objective right now."
"I'm as objective as ever, just because Dean and I have this thing between us right now…"
"That's what I'm talking about Dad. You're never objective when it comes to Dean. You and Dean have had this thing going for years; you've just been floating a boat on that big river in Egypt for so long you can't see it."
"I never laid a hand on Dean, hell--either of you boys…when you were growing up. Not like that, never like that."
"I know that, Dad. But it's not like Dean didn't want it. Think about it, I stopped sleeping with you when I was five…hell, Dean was still climbing in bed with you when he was twenty-two. You never said a word. How many guys would you let spoon up behind you and wake up with a hard-on digging in your ass, and just laugh it off?"
John's face fell. "I knew this was my fault. I should have seen it. I just didn't think that he meant it like that."
"Maybe not consciously no, but you knew that Dean would do what you wanted because he needed to be with you, wanted to be with you. Admit it all the time that I was gone to Stanford—how many nights did you sleep in the same bed?"
"I don’t have to justify anything to you. We always got one room, it was safer, and it cut down on expenses."
"When I was there yeah, one room for the three of us with two beds, even after it got a little crowded for me and Dean, which wasn't often because Dean was usually bedded down with you. So answer me, how often did you let Dean get one room with one bed and just accept his lame-assed explanation that there wasn't any other choice."
John faltered. "All right, we’ve established that this all my fault. I just didn't think about in those terms."
"No, you didn't want to think about what was going on. Dad, Dean would have been fucking you years ago, if he thought you wouldn't try to kill him." Sam picked up the boxers, and the condoms shoving them back into the bag. "This is bullshit, Dad. Dean isn't going to cheat on you, not with Jenny--not with anyone. The only reason he ever fucked anyone else is because he couldn't fuck you."
"It's true." Dean's voice interrupted form the door. John jerked around foot catching the chair leg. He went down in a tangle with the chair landing on top of his back. He winced, gasping for breath.
"On my god, Dad!' Sam leapt to his feet; Dean jumped down the three short steps leading into the dining room, and slid across the floor. Quickly Sam pulled the fallen chair off John's prone body.
Dean put his hand on John's back pushing him down. "Stay still, John. Sammy call Missy and have the mid-wife come over here. Tell her Dad fell."
John struggled to his knees, and then collapsed as a burning pain ripped through his back. Dean pressed his hand to John's back, "Just stay still. Sam's calling now. She’ll be here soon."
Sam was pacing, his breath hitched and he hiccupped. Dean was sitting in a chair at the table watching the bedroom door. His attention never wavered; even as Sam's pacing brought him into Dean's line of vision then out again. Finally, Dean snapped, "Sammy, will you just sit down."
"I'm sorry, Dean. This is my fault, I had an argument with Dad, and he got upset. If I had just left him alone…"
"What the hell were you fighting with him about? I am so damned sick and tired of the both of you…Look Sammy if you can't get along maybe you should go back to Stanford, leave me and Dad alone."
"You didn't help, your little girlfriend, Jenny, just happened to show with a bag filled with your shorts and condoms. I came in and Dad was crying, for god's sake."
Dean slid his hand through his hair then rubbed his eyes. "I didn't, Sam. It wasn't like that. Bobby and I took out that demon bitch that came after Dad. I ran out of gas and she just took me to the Chevron station."
'That doesn't explain how she ended up with a bag that had your drawers and condoms in it."
Missy appeared at the door a scowl on her normally placid face. "Boys, this is no time for that, so you just stop all that nonsense, you hear me."
The boys glared at each other then lapsed into silence. Coloma Darkhorse paused at the door to the bedroom, then motioned Dean in. "He's fine, just a sprained back. He's going to be off his feet for a few days though. Try to keep him still if that is humanly possible."
John was lying on the bed with a dopey grin on his face. Dean picked up a bottle of medicine on the table and then grinned. Maybe if they kept John doped to the gills he's stay still. Yawning John tugged Dean's hand, pulling him down on the bed. Dean leaned forward planting a kiss on his father's forehead.
"You know that I wouldn't, not with Jenny not with anyone. Only you, John." John frowned doubtfully but Dean placed a finger over his mouth. He explained about him and Bobby killing the demon. John frowned, but mellowed by the pain medication he let it go. Finally, John drifted off to sleep.
Missouri and Coloma were seated at the table with Sam when Dean pulled the door to the bedroom closed behind him. "Is he really okay?"
The elderly lady nodded smiling. "Yes, he isn't hurt and neither is the baby, but I wanted to talk to you. I did a very thorough exam, and John's cervix is thinning. It won’t be more than a week before he delivers."
It was raining, more like pouring, two weeks later--a Monday morning. The sky was blue-gray and it was cold for so early in the fall. Sam dropped his books on the table by the door, noted that his father was nodding over the newspaper. Pulling his jacket off Sam draped it over the coat rack on the opposite side of the door. "Dean home yet?" he asked his father. John's body jerked, and he sat upright.
"Nope, not yet, still at the garage." Stretching John rose stiffly. He rubbed his back and winced. The pain had returned earlier that day, and he had noticed that it was just getting worse as the day wore on. "Sam, would you mind getting me some pain pills, my back's acting up again."
“I'll be in the kitchen, I'm just going to get some water." John disappeared into the other room, and Sam went to the bathroom to get his medication. When Sam got to the kitchen he paused, John was standing beside the sink, staring down at the water pooling at his feet.
"Did you spill it? Just sit down I'll clean it up."
"No, Sam, I didn't spill it. I think my water broke." John smiled feebly. Sam felt a rush of panic overwhelming him. He grabbed John's arm dragging him out of the kitchen and shoved him onto the sofa.
"Sit down. Dad." he said oblivious to the fact that John was already sitting down. "I'll call Dean, maybe Missy first, huh?"
The burning pain twisted John's gut again, and he gasped. "I don't care who you call first just call somebody. Maybe I should go lay down." John stumbled to his feet, wandered to the bedroom, and began arranging the bed. He had put everything that they needed for the delivery in a chest at the foot of the bed. First he stripped the bed, laying a vinyl shower curtain on the mattress to keep it dry. Then he placed several large water proof pads over that. On top of the pads he remade the bed with clean, bleached white sheets. After he had made the bed John stripped off his jeans, pulling on a white hospital gown, and a blue terrycloth robe. He slid his boxers off dropping them in the hamper.
Sam appeared at the door. "Dad, Missy and Miss Darkhorse are on their way over. She said you've probably got a while to go yet. I'll call Dean."
John groaned leaning forward, grasping his abdomen. "Sammy, tell them the pains are about fifteen minutes apart, see if they can tell you how long this is going to take." Sam swallowed hard. He noted that John was shuffling around on the bed, and grunting. Suddenly his mouth went dry.
"Oh god no, Dad. Cross your legs or something…just hold it in. Just keep it in until the mid-wife get's here."
"I don’t think it work's that way, Sammy you may have to…"
"Oh hell no. I'm calling Dean. He put it in, he can get it out."
Thirty minutes later Dean arrived, panting. "Where is he?" He asked. Sam hooked a thumb at the open door to the bedroom. He went into the kitchen and re-appeared with a pot of tea on a tray. "Missy said to give Dad tea with honey in it to keep up his strength. They're on the way, maybe another fifteen minutes or so."
Dean peeked into the bedroom. John was sitting up; face flushed and damp with sweat. He gritted his teeth and panted through another contraction. "They'll be here in a little bit." Dean said.
"I'm okay. It's not so bad. The pains are about ten minutes apart, and not too strong." He grinned at Dean. "How hard can it be squeezing out one little kid?"
"Oh holy shit!" John snapped. Leaning forward he struggled against the strong hands holding his shoulders back. "Let go of me, I have to sit up!"
Coloma was sitting on the chest at the foot of the bed. John's knees swathed in a white blanket spread before her. She reached out and Dean felt his stomach roll. "John try not to move around, I can't see what's going on if you're moving. Dean hold him still."
She ordered. Dean made a move as if to pull John prone on the bed, and his father's hand clamped on his leg like a vise-grip. Faced with the possibility of being crippled or John's hand wandering a bit Dean released him.
"Come on, John, push." Coloma said with a smile. John growled at her. He released Dean's leg and Dean grabbed his hand, just in case John had the Glock under the pillow. He cursed himself for not taking all the weapons out to the Impala. Oblivious to the interplay between father and son she reached under the blanket and John stiffened. "Good, I see the head. One more push."
With a groan John pushed. He uttered one small scream, and then clamped his lips shut. The sound of an infant squalling filled the air. Coloma stood up cradling the tiny form in her hands. Dean stood absolutely frozen into place at the sight of her. She was tiny, red, wrinkled and covered in some kind of gunk. But she was also the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. She was pink shimmering with gold guilt highlights, with an amazing stock of soft brown hair.
When Coloma brought her to him Dean was almost afraid to touch her, his hands seemed impossibly large and clumsy, but he managed. John smiled up at him from the bed, exhausted but he had a dreamy look on his face. Dean sat down on the bed, gently placing the baby on John's chest. He touched her hands, her feet and her face stroking his blunt fingertip over her tiny cupid's bow of a mouth. She mewled softly. With a sigh Dean slid his fingers through her hair. "Mary," he whispered.