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Sweet Child O' Mine

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Allison Singer was a typical Midwestern girl. She loved going to the football game on Friday nights with her friends, she couldn’t wait until the agricultural fair came to town so she could eat corn dogs and deep-fried Oreos and ride the Gravitron until she was sick, and she was so nice that people couldn’t help but smile around her. They would never guess that she was brought up by man whose idea of a good time was exorcising demons and collecting rare magical amulets and cursed objects all the while drowning himself to sleep with a cheap bottle of scotch. But that wasn’t something she was ashamed of or anything, it was what she knew, how she grew up.

After her mother died of cancer when she was six, her Uncle Bobby took her in and raised her as his own. Her dead-beat father was well out of the picture before she could walk, and Bobby was the only family she really had. Of course that changed when one of Uncle Bobby’s “work acquaintances”, as he like to call him, John Winchester brought his two sons by the house. She was eight years old when she first met them. John and Uncle Bobby had gone on another hunting trip, and left Sam and Dean to babysit her. They were both much older than her, Dean was already 22 and Sam had just turned 18. She remembers Dean being pissed that he had to stay behind to play Mr. Mom to an 8-year-old and he spent much of his time sulking the entire weekend, breaking into Uncle Bobby’s liquor cabinet with the excuse that it was payment for leaving him behind. Sam, though, he was always ready to entertain her. He would make silly faces for hours just because it made her laugh, and he was even up for playing with her Barbie’s now and again, even when Dean made fun of him for it.

Dean on the other hand, taught her things. Whenever, they came by to visit he would take her out into the salvage yard and teach her how to fix a headlight or show her how to put a good poker hand together. After Sam went off to college and it was just her and Dean, he even let her shoot his gun. Uncle Bobby was pissed when he found out, but he forgave him eventually. Now she could shoot with the best of them, and sometimes when they came around they would line up old beer bottles out back to see who could shoot ‘em all out the fastest. They were the best friends she could ever hope for, but they were always in and out of her life. They both had a lot on their plates, saving people like her Uncle, but when they did come around she was always excited to see them.

Allison was looking at herself in the mirror trying to decide if she was going to wear the jeans and blouse she had on, or if she was going to change into her jean skirt and AC/DC tank top. Hanging around Dean most of her life, she picked up on his taste in music. She was going out with her friends for the night to celebrate, so she thought maybe she should dress up a little nicer, but she decided on comfort and went with the skirt and tank. Once she changed she turned on her iPod and docked it in the Bose speakers Sam and Dean gave her for birthday last year, setting it to random. Def Leppard’s “Let’s Get Rocked” came on and she turned the volume way up, dancing her way to her dresser to put on some make-up. A little eyeliner, a little mascara, some blush, and a touch of lip gloss; yeah, that would do it. When she finished, her playlist shuffled to “Welcome to the Jungle”. This was her jam! She picked up her hairbrush and did her best Axle Rose impression into the mirror and then danced around her room with abandon. This was going to be a good night!

The song ended and she was startled by loud applause.

“That was pretty impressive, but if I catch you dancing to “Cherry Pie” next, we’re gonna have to have a talk.”

“Dean! What are you doing here?” she said mortified that he saw her acting like a fool.

He chuckled at her and said, “Happy birthday, Ally-Cat.”

She couldn’t stay mad at him for long, and she ran over to him and wrapped her arms around him in a familiar embrace.

“When did you get here? I didn’t even hear your car pull-up!”

“Well, no, you wouldn’t have what with being so caught up in your performance and all,” he responded with a smile.

A surge of embarrassment blushed in her cheeks, but she smiled back at him.

“Where’s Sam?” she asked.

“He’s downstairs waiting for you, c’mon,” he said as he jostled her out the door.

Allison bounced down the stairs, Dean following behind, into the study/living room, where Bobby and Sam were talking about their latest case. She waited in the doorway for them to notice she was there.

Sam finally turned his head, “Hey Ally! Happy birthday, sweetie.”

She bounded exuberantly over to him and he picked her up in his arms swinging her around in a dramatic hug.

“What the hell are you wearing?” Uncle Bobby griped as Sam put her back down.

She looked down at her outfit, “What? I’m going out with the girls tonight. I want to be stylish and comfortable.”

“I think it looks a little too comfortable,” he lectured, “go upstairs and change into something a little less Madonna and a little more Martha Stewart.”

“C’mon Bobby, she looks fine to me,” Dean said, trying to help her out.

Bobby just stared at him for a minute and then turned back to Ally, “Exactly, go change!”

Ally’s mouth opened in protest, but the look on Uncle Bobby’s face made her think twice about it. She looked over at Sam who was giving her his most sympathetic smile, but he didn’t offer his opinion.

“I’m an adult now you know,” she grumbled as she turned to go back upstairs to change.

“But you’re still in high school, and you’re still under my roof,” Bobby reminded her.

After she went back up to her room and put on the more conservative outfit she had picked out earlier, she headed back down to the kitchen where Uncle Bobby and the boys were having a drink around the table. Bobby looked her over and nodded in approval. She noticed a cake in the center of the table. It was definitely too neat to be homemade.

“Aww, you guys got me a cake?” She said, touched at the gesture.

“It’s not everyday you turn eighteen,” Sam smiled up at her.

She gave all of them a kiss on the cheek, even Uncle Bobby. She appreciated that he looked out for her, even if he could be an old fogey about it sometimes. Sitting down in the last chair, Alley cut out a piece for each of them, thankful that they didn’t sing “Happy Birthday”. Not that she didn’t like the song or anything, but she’d heard them sing before and they were no Steve Perry! It wasn’t long before her phone rang. Her friend Kelly called to let her know that she was heading over to pub to get everyone a table and get her little party set up. Honestly, Allison didn’t really want to make a big fuss over it, but her friends were keen to throw some kind of blowout for her, so if it made them happy she was okay with it.

“That was Kelly. I’ve got to go,” she announced, “Hey do you guys wanna come? I hear there’s gonna be karaoke!”

“We don’t sing.” The boys said in unison.

Ally just rolled her eyes at them and kissed them all goodbye.

“Hey, what about your presents?” Sam asked.

Alley paused, “You got me presents? Plural?”

“Yeah, we figured it would be a nice change of pace from our usual joint gift,” Sam smiled at her.

“Gimme, gimme, gimme,” Ally said playfully, taking her seat again.

Sam handed his to her first, it was just an envelope. When she tore it open four lottery scratch-offs fell out into her lap. She smiled at him.

“Thanks, Sam! There better be a winner in here!” she teased.

Sam handed her a wad of bills, “Just in case there’s not.”

Ally shook her head and smiled, “You’re too much, Sam. Thank you.”

Dean’s gift was a small little box wrapped in newspaper.

“Did you get this giftwrapped?” Ally joked with him.

Dean sneered, “Just open it already.”

Ally nimbly worked the paper off with her fingers and lifted the lid off the little cardboard box underneath. Inside was a locket with her birthstone, a small diamond, set into the front. She gasped at the sight.

“Dean it’s so beautiful! You didn’t have to do this!” she exclaimed, about to open the locket to see what was inside.

Dean stopped her, “Don’t open it, there’s a bit of Mullein in there. I don’t want it to drop out. It’s an herb that helps to keep demons away.”

She got up and hugged him, appreciative of the gesture, and he helped her put it on. It felt heavy on her chest. He had to have spent a pretty penny on it, or he possible stole it, or won it in a poker game, but it was the thought that counted regardless.

“Thank you guys!” she said again, before Bobby tossed her a set of keys.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“They're the keys to your new car,” he responded with a smile, “I’ve been building in all year.”

Her eyes widened with excitement. She had been driving around an old beat-up Corsica from the 80’s for the last two years, having a mechanic for a guardian he could fix it whenever it broke so she never thought she’d get a newer one. Hardly able to contain herself she ran out the kitchen door, the rest of them following behind, to where she normally parked her car. In its place was a shiny, used but perfectly restored, 1968 Shelby Cobra GT 350. It was painted electric blue and she noted that it was a two-seater, no backseat. Typical Bobby! She loved it though and was so taken aback by the generosity of her family. That’s what they all were: The best family in the world.

She hugged her Uncle Bobby, and just for good measure the Winchester boys again, and then waved as she drove her new car out to the street, honking a friendly goodbye as she took off towards her party.

 

*****

 

It was almost two-thirty in the morning when Allison arrived home. She was having so much fun with her friends that she had lost track of time. They were too busy singing bad renditions of cheesy one-hit wonders to notice that they were about to shut the bar down. Closing the driver side door on her new ride as quietly as possible, she silently prayed that Uncle Bobby would be fast asleep, but she wasn’t going to hold her breath. He’d probably be sitting in the dark ready to ambush her as she walked in. When she entered from the back door into the kitchen she noticed the faint light of the table lamp coming from her uncle’s study. She was so busted!

Instead of trying to sneak past him, she decide to be the adult that she now was and face whatever reprimands he was going to dole out. Turning the corner, she was surprised to see Dean sitting on the couch reading a book. The surprise was two-fold, Uncle Bobby was nowhere in sight, and Dean was reading? Weird! Upon closer inspection, it was one of Uncle Bobby’s creepy books, so she figured it had to do with a case or something.

“What are you doing up?” she asked, walking over and taking a seat next to him on the couch.

He put the book face down on the arm of the couch stretching the binding.

“I told Bobby I’d wait up for you, and it’s a good thing too! You’d be in some serious trouble if it were him here instead of me.”

She smiled apologetically, “I know, I’m sorry. I lost track of time.”

“I was about to go out looking for you myself, you know,” Dean said, his best concerned big-brother voice.

Ally apologized again, but Dean waved it off. He did his bit to be the heavy.

“Did you have fun?” he asked.

“Tons!” she admitted, “You totally should have come. I did a kick-ass version of ‘We Built This City’.”

She sang that last part.

“Really,” Dean looked at her reproachingly, “Jefferson Starship?”

“What?!” Ally exclaimed.

“I just thought you had better taste in music than that,” he sniggered, picking up his book again.

She stuck her tongue out at him and pointed to the beer bottle that was on the edge of her uncle’s desk.

“Is that yours,” Ally inquired.

Dean sighed before reluctantly handing it to her. It was warm, but she drank the last few sips down.

“Don’t tell Bobby,” he warned.

She chuckled, “You’re such a bad influence, Dean!”

Ally placed the empty bottle on the floor and then kicked her boots off. She swiveled her legs up onto the couch and leaned her back against Dean, who made room for her by throwing his arm around her shoulder while he read. This was how it always was with him. Even though he was never enthusiastic about babysitting when she was younger, he never let that sour his affection towards her. As she got older they got more comfortable just being around each other. And even though she would admit that she might have had a slight crush on him for awhile now, the reality that he was almost old enough to be her father always stopped her from saying anything. Not that he would ever reciprocate those feelings, he saw her as a little sister, Bobby’s kid. Still, it was nice to have someone around that you felt absolutely safe with. She knew that he would protect her with his life. They stayed there like that for a few moments, not saying a word.

“Hey, Dean?” Allison interrupted the silence, “Did you go to your Senior Prom?”

He put the book down, sensing this was going to be one of those talks, “No. Sam and I were in and out of school, so I missed it. Not that I would have gone anyway. Why?”

“Mine’s coming up next week. At first I didn’t want to go either, but I don’t know…my friends want me to go and I guess it wouldn’t be so bad.”

“Then go if you want,” Dean offered.

She sighed, “I guess. It’s just that I waited so long to make up my mind that it’s looking like I’m gonna have to go by myself.”

“No one’s asked you?” Dean asked doubtfully.

“A few guys did,” she responded, “but at the time I didn’t think I was going so I turned them down. Now they have other dates.”

Dean thought for a moment, “Well I’m sure there are a couple of guys that don’t yet. You want to know a secret?”

“What?” she said, shifting in her position to look up at him.

“You don’t always have to wait for them to ask you. Guys secretly dig it when chicks make the first move.”

Ally smiled to herself, it could be so easy to manipulate him sometimes.

“Everyone I would ask is already going, except…” she baited him.

“You gonna finish that sentence there?” Dean said oblivious.

She sat up and looked at him with a sly smile, “What are you doing on Friday the 29th of April?”

“What? Oh no, no, no. No way. Uh-uh, not happening.” He protested.

“Please, Dean?” she pleaded with puppy dog eyes, “I don’t want to go by myself, and you’d be more fun than any of the guys at my school. Please?”

Dean stood up feeling uncomfortable, “Ally, even if I wanted to go, which I seriously do not, don’t you think it would be weird having some 32-year-old escorting you to your high school prom?”

Ally stood up in front of him, a pouty expression on her face, “No one knows how old you are, and you could pass for twenty five. Please?”

Dean looked down at her, her eyes pleading with him, her lips in a frown. She was good at this. He closed his eyes and shook his head, and that gave her the opportunity for her last effort.

“I guess I don’t have to go, forget about it,” she let her head fall and shuffled back to the couch, slumping down in it like all hope was lost.

Dean groaned; he couldn’t stand to disappoint her, “Fine! I’ll go.”

Allison jumped up excitedly clapping her hands. Dean frowned realizing she just played him.

“Thank you, thank you,” she said, jumping up and wrapping her arms around his neck, forcing him to catch her mid-air. “You’re gonna look so good in a tux!”

He put her down, calling after her as she rushed up the stairs to go to bed, “A tux? Hey! Wait, Ally?”

“Goodnight!” she called down, before running into her bedroom and shutting the door.