Pairings/Characters: Dean, John, Mary, Bobby
Rating: PG for violent images
Word Count: 2317
Summary: If Dean is Batman, than Bobby is….
Dean had always been a quiet, reserved child.
Dean had always been a quiet reserved child to outsiders. To his family, his mom and dad, Dean was a very different boy. He was quiet, yes, but only because he spent so much time observing—everything. He was reserved but only in the sense that he was careful in his affections but once given, ah, then it was unreservedly.
Dean liked drawing, he liked making music, he liked singing and reading and walking in the park. He liked swimming.
Most of these things he did with Mommy and Dad. He'd done them more before Mommy got sick. He understood, of course, that she didn’t always want to do them now. He completely understood that sometimes Mom was just too…sad to do those things. Of course she was, because sometimes he was too sad himself. Even now, even two years later, he was sad sometimes.
Dean had a secret, something that he told no one. He'd almost—almost—been a big brother. He remembered, not as good now as he used to, Mom and Dad telling him that he was going to be a big brother and that somewhere inside Mommy a baby brother or sister was hiding. He hadn’t really understood that part, but he was fine with it because he would someday, if the grown-ups all around him were right.
It had been exciting. He'd been ready, too. It was going to be a boy. A little brother. He'd known it as soon as Daddy told him a baby was coming. But now….
Now, there was a big hole in his insides. It was getting smaller, tiny bit by tiny bit, but the hole was still there. It was wrong. He should have a little brother under his arm. He should have had someone to love. But Mommy told him that the angels wanted his baby more. It wasn't fair. He didn’t think so then and he didn't think so now, but he kept that to himself—another secret he was keeping.
Dean really understood that Mommy was sad a lot. If he was sad, it must be so much worse for Mommy and Daddy.
Every Tuesday he went to Daddy's office to wait for him.
The driver dropped him off with Daddy's secretary, who was waiting for him, just like she waited every Tuesday, outside the Winchester Building. She took his hand as they walked across the long lobby. Dean liked the way the sun played hide and seek with him as they walked—bright, and then dark as it hid behind a pillar—all the way across the lobby.
They took the elevator to Dad's office and the secretary opened the door for him just like she always did. He hugged Daddy like always, and then Dean waited for him to finish his day, while Dean sat at the smaller desk. On Tuesday, the secretary worked at the desk in the waiting room and Dean could do almost anything he wanted at her desk.
He played with the computer—he loved playing computer games. He was especially happy with this new one, because he got to drive a car really fast, like a real race car driver. Dean loved cars, loved everything about them. Dad was a lawyer, but Dean wanted to be a person who fixed cars. Daddy said he'd outgrow that, that one day he'd take over the family business. Dean scowled thinking about it. Dean didn't want to hear about Daddy doing law because Granddad did law and Great-Grandfather did law, so he would do it too, one day. He didn't care. He wanted to fish and hunt and grow food like Grandfather Sam. He wanted to live in a big house in the woods and run all day long, just like his cousins did. Only…maybe not with his cousins. Not every day.
Dean sighed, made the big chair swirl around in a circle. He wondered why Mommy wouldn’t let him visit the cousins more often. He swirled again, the casters on the chair creaking. He heard Dad sigh, and heard his computer power down. "Okay, kiddo. Whataya say we call it a day?"
He looked up at Daddy, already smiling because he knew what he would see. Dad smiling back, just like he always did, a great big smile just for Dean.
His dad was great. He was tall, taller than anyone in the whole building. He had dark, shiny hair he wore brushed straight back. Dean liked when Daddy's hair would slowly start to curl up a little when they played football together. He liked when Daddy would kiss his cheek and pretend to gobble up his neck—his mustache tickled so; Dean just couldn't stop laughing, and Dad would laugh so hard, too.
Daddy pushed all his papers together and dropped them into a briefcase. He stopped, shook his head, frowning at one page before tossing it in as well. By the time he was looking at Dean again, he was smiling big as ever. "So, Dean-o, what say we go pick up this gorgeous dame I know and show her a night on the town, eh?"
"Daa-aad! Mom's not a dame, she's a mom."
Dad just winked, and they headed out for home.
Tuesday was always Dinner-and-a Movie night. Mom and Dad called it 'date night' but Dean didn’t think it was, because he always went with. Dates happened for just a boy and a girl; he knew that from the movies and from books. So on Tuesdays, he pretended that he wasn't really there, and just watched Mom and Dad. He liked the way they were with each other. It made him feel warm, like being wrapped up safe in a great, big blanket.
Yesterday, Uncle Robert came to visit. He was a friend of Daddy's from the war. He was a great guy who knew a lot about cars, and didn't mind talking about it. Dean liked him a lot. He was sorry that Aunt Karen had to go home with the angels, too. Dean was pretty sure he wasn't as happy about angels as Mommy was—he thought that they were kind of…mean. In fact, he didn't think he liked them much at all.
Uncle Robert was as sad as Mommy, had been for a long time, but now he was smiling, a little bit more each day. Dean always sat next to him when he went out in the garden. They didn’t talk much. Uncle Robert was usually busy smoking one of his cigars and humming to himself. Dean always sat close to him and watched the ducks paddle around on their little pond. Sometimes Uncle would give him little foods for the fish and they'd walk onto the little footbridge and feed them quietly. He liked that, that Uncle Robert was so comfortable with being quiet.
He wished Uncle Robert had come with them to Dinner. He felt like Uncle needed some time doing nice things with family, too.
Dean was what Mommy called rambunctious tonight. He'd led her on a little chase before settling down, not too fast that she couldn’t catch him, not too long that she'd start to get impatient. Dean had it timed—just long enough to make her really laugh, with her mouth and with her eyes.
He dressed in nice clothes Mommy laid out on his bed for him. He'd taken his own bath, poured in lots of bubbles and brought his boats and submarines in with. He'd washed behind his ears and between his toes without being asked. He'd even washed his hair. He felt good about himself. Big boys washed themselves, without help.
Dinner was at a place that had curtains between the tables and little tiny lights shining on their food. He knew which forks to use and what glass came first because Daddy said it was important. He knew to put his napkin on his lap now, and not tie it around his neck like a bib. Just thinking of it made him giggle to himself. Times like that, he always thought of his brother. He would have laughed with him, he would have looked at Dean and giggled until Dean said, "Shhhh—it's quiet time now."
He glanced up and caught Daddy looking at him, lifting that one eyebrow. Dean was pretty sure Daddy knew why he'd giggled. They shared a smile.
Mommy looked at him, chin on her hand and a smile in her eyes. "You’re getting so big, Dean. You’re growing fast."
The table lights made her necklace shine; all the round white beads looked like tiny, perfect snowballs on a string. It was one of his favorite necklaces. Mommy was so pretty, with her yellow hair and blue, blue eyes. He smiled and nodded.
"I'm going to be tall as Daddy, soon," he said. When Daddy laughed, it made Dean smile too.
"Not too soon. Enjoy being a kid, Dean-o. Being a grown up man is hard work."
"But I can do it," Dean said. "I'm going to grow up and help people."
"Just like your old man," Daddy said.
Dean nodded but he'd meant just like Uncle Robert—people needed their cars fixed. It was important.
The movie was good. They laughed through most of it, and Dean felt grown, laughing at the same jokes Mom and Daddy did. After the show, they took their time about leaving the theater. The crowd parted around them, leaving them behind—they were the last out of the theater. Dean pushed the big doors open for them, and jumped down the stairs to the street, one at a time. He liked watching his shadow bobble in front of him, like a twin matching his every move.
Mom and Dad strolled out to the sidewalk, with Dean between them. The air was a little cool. It had rained while they were inside and the lights made the puddles look like little, shimmering bowls and plates of color. Mom took one of Dean's hands and Dad took the other and it was like being a bridge between both of them, warm, safe. He swung his arms and remembered being small enough that his parents could swing him through the air—he missed that.
They took two steps into the darkness of the parking garage, and there was a man, standing right in their path. "Got a light?" he asked, and Mom shook her head no, and Dad shook his head and made to move past.
Dean's hand was pulled put of Daddy's when the strange man pushed Daddy—hard.
"Whataya, too good to speak to sumun like me?"
"Look, I don’t know—"
"You don’t know, you don't know, you don't care—that's the problem with all you mugs—you don’t know enough to care. Care enough to know."
Dean gulped, eyes on his mom and he almost missed the flash of light, and then the crack of lightning—Daddy fell and Mom screamed, let Dean's hand go and reached out to catch Daddy.
No, Mommy, no, don't let go! Dean wanted to say that, he opened his mouth to say that, but the guy was running and pointing back at them. His head turned to look at them as he ran away. There was a loud noise, and Mommy fell….
Dean watched her fall. It took a long time, she seemed to fall forever. And then she hit the ground, her beads breaking and falling and rolling everywhere and Daddy made a noise, it sounded like the noise Dean made when he swallowed too much water at once. Mommy never said anything at all.
The police station was cold, and noisy. They were nice to him, brought him hot chocolate. One of the policemen, who was a woman, brought him a big, warm blanket and wrapped it around him. She smelled nice like Mommy and it made him cry. She didn’t tell him to be a big boy, she just let him cry.
Grandfather Sam wasn't coming, not right way they told him, because he lived so far away. But there was someone waiting for him, and he should go home with that person. Dean was afraid. He knew what happened to kids who had no parents. The state came and took them and put them in horrible homes, where no one cared and maybe he'd have to live under the stairs. He wasn't going to cry though; he was never going to cry again. And one day, he'd find that man who took away his parents, and make him hurt the way he made Dean hurt. Only worse. He'd find some way to make it even worse for that man.
At the end of a long hallway, Uncle Robert stood, waiting. Dean pulled free of the policeman and ran, right up to him. Uncle Robert dropped down to his knees and wrapped Dean up, until no part of him wasn't touching the great, big wall of Uncle Robert. Dean leaned against him, and maybe he might have cried a little, but it really was going to be the last time. He sniffed into Uncle Robert's coat and the familiar smell of cigars and that stuff Uncle called Old Spice filled his nose. Made him think of home.
Dean wailed into the wool. "I'm all alone, my mom and dad are…I'm alone!"
"No—I can't replace 'em, boy, but I can promise you this—you're never gonna be alone—I swear. We'll figure it out, together, Dean. We'll figure it out."
Dean clung to Uncle Robert with both hands, twisting them hard as he could in his coat. It hurt so much, it hurt too much, but he had this, if nothing else. He gave his heart to Uncle Robert and hoped for the best.