Lou Gerritt knew just the place to send her. That didn’t mean he had to be happy about it. If there was any sort of celestial or demonic shit going on you could be sure those two knuckleheads were somehow involved. They had an unfortunate way of attracting that kind of thing like two human shaped magnets for the supernatural. He had to give credit where it was due though- they somehow always managed to clean up their messes. Almost had a knack for getting outta tight fixes. He also knew that if it was a question of ensuring that she would be looked after there was really no place safer. It wasn't exactly a secret that they holed up in that bomb shelter or whatever you wanted to call it but no one outside of a select few really knew its exact location and rumor had it that the place was so fortified that nothing got in or out unless it was either invited or already dead.
Besides, Bobby Singer had always held them in high regard and he had never been one to bestow praise even if it was deserved. Of course many would say that Bobby had also always been an old drunk but he had been invaluable manning the phones in the hunting community. He had also saved the bacon of just about any hunter you talked to on some occasion or other, Lou included.
No, Bobby had known his shit and if he thought those two boys could take care of business Lou was inclined to believe him. He sighed and scratched the back of his neck. He would just have to call Garth and have him deliver her to their doorstep. It wasn't an incredibly appealing option but it was the best one he had until they could get this whole mess sorted out.
* * * * *
Dean Winchester woke from a dead sleep staring up at the ceiling. He took a moment to drink in his surroundings. His dresser with what few photos he had propped up. His desk. His weapons displayed on the wall. His bed. His room. He would never get tired of waking up here in the bunker. He stretched and yawned, cracking his knuckles and back as he swung his feet over the side of the bed. He recoiled slightly as they hit the cold floor. Slowly he sniffed the air. Coffee. Sammy must have gotten up early and made some. Today was going to be a good day. He threw on an old black t-shirt and a pair of ratty sweatpants and padded down the hall. As he walked past the living room he stopped for a moment to take in the destruction that surely waited there. He was not disappointed. There, in front of the tv, headset on and hands clenching a video game controller, was Kevin. At least nine empty energy drink cans were scattered around him. With his dead-eyed stare glued to the tv and his thumbs sluggishly manipulating the controller he looked more like a zombie than a living breathing person. Dean shrugged his shoulders and ran a hand across his still tired eyes, knowing that he could stand there all day and still go completely unnoticed. He was considering saying something when the smell of coffee beckoned again. Priorities.
Sam was sitting at the table clad in flannel pajama pants and t-shirt absently working on a bowl of cereal and flipping through a book.
"Hey, man, I got some bad news" Dean said scratchily as he walked over to the cupboard for a mug. His voice hadn’t yet got the memo that his body was awake now.
"Good morning to you, too" Sam replied with a raised eyebrow. "What bad news?"
"Well, it pains me to say this, " Dean turned and put his hand over his heart with a deep sigh ," But I think we're gonna have to gank Kevin."
Sam snorted into the coffee mug he had raised to his lips. "Oh yeah, I saw he's one of the undead now. I think he's been there all night."
Dean smirked as he poured coffee into his mug."Did you see all the Red Bull cans? What a wuss. Dude can't hang. You'd think after all the shit we get into he'd be used to all-nighters."
Sam chuckled softly as Dean walked over to the table, mug in one hand, bowl and spoon in the other. He was just about to open his mouth to say something when they heard a padding outside the kitchen door.
"Brace yourself" Dean said under his breath with a knowing look as he reached for the open cereal box on the table.
In walked, or more accurately, shuffled, Castiel, former angel of the Lord and Active Despiser of Mornings. He had a blanket pulled tight over the top of his head and around himself with a small tuft of severely mussed hair peeking out the hole he'd left for his face. He slowly inched forward, blue eyes wincing against the harsh kitchen light. When he reached the kitchen table he somehow managed to pull out a chair, plop down on it, and drop his face smack down on the table with a thud, all without relinquishing his iron grip on the blanket.
"Well," said Dean with a grin, "Talk about the living dead." He pushed his coffee mug over to Cas as Sam made a half-hearted attempt to stop his shoulders shaking with silent laughter.
"Here ya go Sunshine. You need this more than I do" Dean said as he got up from the table and poured himself a new cup of coffee.
Ever since Cas had shown up at the bunker totally human and without anywhere else to go, he had taken a strong and unfavorable stance against mornings. Dean would certainly not call himself a morning person either (not like Sam, the early rising weirdo) but nobody had a monopoly on morning grumpiness like Cas. Dean couldn't really blame him though. Cas was new to the world of sleep. That also meant that dreaming was a new experience for him as well, and man, had he had some weird ones. Not bad-weird, not as far as Dean knew, just weird-weird. That, coupled with the uncharted terrain of sleep and his occasional frustration with the growing number of human things he was having to learn had made Castiel perhaps not the most pleasant individual in the morning. As Dean sat back down at the table, he and Sam watched with matching bemused expressions as one sluggish hand snaked out of the covers and started to feel around the side of the table, presumably for the sugar. Apparently lifting his face off the table was not on Cas's agenda today. Clumsily he felt around the table, grunting when he knocked the napkin holder over, hands finally closing around the sugar shaker. He managed to get it over to the coffee mug without ever picking his head up and turned it upside-down over the mug. Dean's look of amusement turned to disgust as he watched what had to easily be five spoonfuls of sugar sift into the mug. It wasn't totally unexpected; Cas liked his coffee with a side of diabetes in the morning, but just because he knew it was coming didn't make Dean's stomach turn any less.
Dean turned to Sam instead. "And you have the nerve to lecture me about my health? Meanwhile Cas is allowed to sit here and turn himself into a premature Wilford Brimley?"
Sam just shrugged. "Hey man, if you want to give him a talk about blood sugar right now be my guest. I know when to pick my battles."
Sam had a point. It was then that Cas slowly and begrudgingly raised his head off the table as though it had just occurred to him that he might have to lift his face if he wanted to actually drink the sugary monstrosity he had created. He lifted the mug to his lips closing his eyes in appreciation as the coffee met his tongue.
"Should me and Sam leave you and the coffee alone for a moment" Dean asked, a smirk on his lips. Cas just grunted.
"Hey man, if you're so tired go back to bed. It's not like we have a shit-ton of stuff to do today. " Dean said raising a spoonful of cereal to his lips.
"Can't", Cas replied, his gravelly voice deeper than usual due to the early hour, "The horses will eat my face."
Dean choked on his cereal and was in serious danger of milk coming out his nose. He tried desperately to regain some of his composure and glared as Sam just sat there and laughed at his misfortune. What a bitch. Once he was able to speak he turned to Cas, trying to keep his voice and features neutral. "I'm sorry, what?"
"Horses, Dean," Cas replied testily as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. "They wanted to eat my face. The horses in my dream." he added with a scowl seeing Dean's blank expression.
"Oh, right. Of course. Those horses," Dean replied sarcastically shaking his head, "Cas, man, you have some weird ass dreams. Are you sure you haven't been watching too much Animal Planet?" He looked to Sam for back-up but Sam wasn't paying attention.
Instead he was staring at his phone with a confused expression.
"Sam. What is it?" Dean asked, Cas's strange homicidal equine dreams temporarily forgotten.
"It's Garth," Sam said, "It's really weird. He texted and says he just left something at the bunker door. I tried texting him back why he didn't stick around and deliver it himself but he just said to go see it first. He won't tell me what it is."
Dean rolled his eyes." They all come here. Why do they all come here? C'mon we better go see what it is. Probably some kinda cursed object thing some other hunter found and they don't wanna deal with it so they're dumping it on us." He got up from the table with Sam and the two of them headed out of the kitchen. Cas winced at the noise of their chairs scraping the floor when they got up but after a minute his curiosity got the better of him and he followed them out, blanket and all.
As they walked to the door Dean grumbled. "This started out being such a good day and now there's probably some sort of shit out there for us to clean up. One damn day, is that too much to ask? And I'll tell you another thing Sammy, if it's another one of those godforsaken rabbit's feet they can keep it. Hell if we're gonna get mixed up in that shit show again”, he complained knowing full well that if it was a rabbit's foot of course they would deal with it because who was he kidding? This was just another day in the life of Sam and Dean Winchester. As they drew near the door he noticed that once again curiosity had got the cat and Cas had decided to tag along. He smiled in spite of himself. Cas's cover had slipped off his head and his hair was beyond out of control. Dean shook his head. What a weirdo.
Sam had reached the door first and had one hand resting on the handle. "You ready for this" he asked turning back to Dean.
"Yeah, yeah, let's just get it over with."
Sam turned the handle, pulled the heavy door open, and looked down.
Dean looked but couldn't see what was there since his gargantuan “little” brother was blocking the view. "Hey, Sasquatch, move over. What is it?"
Sam didn't budge. He just stood there frozen in the doorway. Then very slowly he turned his head, his eyes wide in a look of pure terror.
Dean frowned with concern. Apart from clowns, Sam wasn't easily shaken. You couldn't be in their line of work. Whatever it was, it must be pretty bad to get to Sam like that. "Shit man, what is it?"
Numbly Sam moved to the side. Dean stepped forward. In the back of his mind he was dimly aware of Cas craning over his shoulder to get a look but he wasn't really focused on that because when he looked down on the doorstep the rest of his mind went blank.
There, nestled in a basket on the ground and lightly covered by a blanket, was a sleeping baby girl.
At least Dean assumed it was a girl. She was wearing a lavender onesie if that was anything to go by. He felt something brush against his ankles and turned to see that Cas's blanket had pooled on the floor by his feet. Cas's eyes were as wide as Sam's, his face arranged in a look of terror that Dean hadn't seen since the time he'd tried to set Cas up with that call girl when they thought it was his last night alive. Evidentially, all it took to get Cas to relinquish his blanket in the morning was the shock of finding a baby on the doorstep. Dean turned back to the baby in question. She was nestled in her blankets fast asleep.
Suddenly Cas's face was very close to his. "Dean," Cas whispered in a daze, "that is a baby."
"Yes, Cas. Yes it is." Dean whispered back just as dumbly.
"Is it yours?"
"Uh no. I don't think so."
"Is it Sam's?"
"Yeaaaah….not likely." The insinuation that Sam didn’t often score did not go over his head and Dean could feel the power of Sam's bitch face without turning around.
"Okay. So. It's not mine. And no one knows that Kevin is even here so it can't be his. So….why is it here?" Cas asked.
Dean snapped out of his shock for a moment and rolled his eyes. "Gee, Cas let me consult my crystal ball for you. Hmmm….nope not getting anything. Answer is unclear, try back later."
Cas narrowed his eyes at the sarcasm. "Okay, well what do we do with it?"
"Uhhhh…" Dean stopped. Good question. What do we do with it?
Luckily Sam chose that moment to be the voice of reason. "I'll tell you what we do with it," he said. "We bring it inside and call Garth and find out what the hell is going on." Then he turned around and walked back toward the living room already dialing the phone.
It must have been his giant footsteps echoing in the hall that woke her because at that moment the baby girl opened her eyes and, confronted with the sight of two grown men staring down at her, promptly started crying. Dean and Cas just stood dumbly at the door for a moment and then seemed to come to. With a deep breath Dean bent down and gingerly lifted the baby out of the basket and held her to his chest, slightly swaying and whispering softly to calm her. Cas watched on in amazement as Dean talked to the baby girl and rubbed her back. As Dean stood there and whispered to her the tears slowly subsided and she calmed in Dean's arms. Soon she looked at Dean with big blue eyes and a sheepish grin as though she had no idea what all that crying business had been about.
"There see?", Dean whispered, "It's okay. That dumbass and his oversized feet woke you up, huh? It's okay, I've got you, let's go see what's going on here." Dean turned to Cas. "Hey, can you grab the basket and stuff? Garth has some explaining to do. Start of the week and already shit's gone to hell in a hand basket. Literally." Then he turned and started down the hall.
Cas just stood there watching for a moment. How strange. Dean was usually so gruff and sarcastic or hot-tempered. But there in the doorway he had been a totally different Dean. This Dean, Dean holding the baby, was soft-spoken and nurturing. Somehow he had known what to do to stop the baby crying. Cas thought that he knew every side to Dean. He had rebuilt him cell by cell when he had raised him from hell. But somehow Dean was still continuously surprising.
Humanity was continuously surprising. Cas's face scrunched in confusion as he felt an unfamiliar tug near his heart. The sight of Dean ambling down the hallway talking to the baby; Cas found he couldn't stop looking. It just seemed to fit somehow, almost as though it were meant to be. Slowly he tore his eyes away and pulled his blanket and the baby's basket up off the floor, following Dean and the baby down the hall.
Humanity. So, so surprising.