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Dean could feel two small forms slowly pressing flat against his chest while he lay sleeping on his side. He was groggy and halfway unconscious, so he didn't really know what was pushing on his torso. But the movement was starting to irritate him. Who was doing that? Was Cas trying to roll him over? Was Sam trying to wake him up? Dean eventually opened his eyes to see who was responsible for forcing him awake – and saw two short little legs stretched toward his chest.

Cas was laying beside Dean on the bed, face-to-face with open blue eyes and dark hair a mess. But as usual, their three-year-old son had wiggled sideways between them through the night. Jude was turned long-ways in the bed, with his face tucked into the side of Cas's neck and his feet pressed against Dean's chest. Together, the three of them made an 'H' shape. Cas raised his head off the pillow to meet eyes with Dean over Jude's blanket.

“Good morning, Dean,” the angel whispered, “I'm sorry Jude woke you. I believe he is having vivid dreams.”

“It's alright,” Dean whispered back, his voice deep and sleepy.

The man carefully shifted around to take hold of his son's ankles and gently bend his knees away so that he could sit up. Jude flinched a little bit but stayed asleep, unwilling to turn away from Cas's neck. The poor angel looked like he was wearing Jude as a scarf or something. Dean smiled down at the sight as he stifled a yawn. He always thought that waking up next to Cas was the best thing in the world. But waking up to see Cas trapped underneath their sleeping little boy? Even better.

“Nice scarf,” Dean mumbled.

Cas only smiled and reached up to cradle the back of Jude's head. Dean took a second to memorize the view in front of him – taking note of the stuffed bee tucked under Jude's arm and how perfect Cas looked in the morning light – before tossing back his own sheets and throwing his legs over the side of the bed. The urge to pee had suddenly come over him and he needed to get to the bathroom pronto. Dean gave Cas's thigh a tight squeeze under the blanket before standing up and starting across the room.

For what felt like the millionth time, Dean found himself stumbling around a motel room filled with stuff. He, Cas, their son Jude, Sam, Gabriel, and their niece Jessica were all living in one motel room together and it was as not going as smoothly as he had hoped. Duffel bags and suitcases were stacked in the corner. A few big boxes of guns and ammo were piled up near the door. Sam's laptop and books were on the table, along with some stray candy wrappers, crayons, and coloring books. Stuffed animals, dolls, action figures, and toys were strung on the floor as far as the eye could see... The one tiny room that used to comfortably house Dean and Sam could now barely contain their growing families. And the thought made Dean sick to his stomach. He hated living in a cramped environment like this. It felt like he didn't even have room to breathe.

On the way to the bathroom, Dean walked over at least two different sets of blocks and stubbed his toe on his niece's dollhouse. He walked off the pain as he reached out for the bathroom door and opened it to slip inside. Dean sighed with relief when he entered the bathroom. Finally, a place where he could have some privacy -

Whoa, whoa! I'm in here!” Sam yelped.

Sammy was already standing at the toilet taking a leak, hunched over to block himself from Dean's view. Dean instantly gasped in surprise and spun around to avoid being blinded. Dammit! Why didn't Sam lock the door or something?! Dean huffed a breath of annoyance as he bolted back out of the bathroom.

“Dammit, Sam. There's a lock on the door for a reason,” Dean growled over his shoulder.

Sam apologized meekly as Dean stomped out and snapped the door shut behind him. The older Winchester was met with the sight of the cluttered motel again and had to pause and take a deep breath. Being kicked awake, having to wade through an ocean of toys, and accidentally walking in on Sam in the bathroom wasn't the best way to start the morning. But there was always coffee. Coffee would make things better, right?

Hoping to find some solace in a fresh cup of Joe, Dean shuffled his way passed Sam and Gabriel's empty bed and toward the mini kitchen area of the motel room, planning to get to the coffee maker. But the closer Dean got to the small kitchen, the more he could smell something sweet in the air – and hear the cute little giggles of his precious niece.

Dean leaned into the room to see that Gabriel was making breakfast with Jessica. The archangel was flamboyantly flipping pancakes in a skillet while his little girl sat on the counter and giggled at his over-the-top performance. Dickie – the archangel's Jack Russell Terrier who loved to hump everything in sight – was chasing the flying pancake, eagerly waiting for it to fall to the floor.

“What should we add next, baby doll?” Gabriel asked his daughter, “Chocolate chips? Marshmallows? Powered sugar?”

Peaches!” Jessica sang, flailing her little arms.

“Peaches? Really?” Gabe repeated, sounding confused, “Okay, if that's what you want. Let there be peaches!”

The trickster sat the skillet on the stove and snapped his fingers, using his grace to make three peaches appear on the counter. Gabriel quickly swiped the fruit up and started juggling them in the air, making Jessica giggle even louder. After a couple of seconds of showing off, Gabriel tossed all three peaches high into the air and swished his finger, making the fruits slice apart before they fell into the skillet. Jessica, whose face and pajamas were covered with flour, cheered and clapped her little hands.

“Yay!” she giggled, “Again, Papa! Again!”

Dean couldn't help but smile at the sound of his niece's joyful laughter. Just looking at her reminded Dean of Sam when he was that age. Jessica's blonde locks may have come from Gabriel, but those dimples stamped on her rosy cheeks were unmistakably Sammy's.

While Dean was glad that Gabriel and Jessica seemed to be having a fun morning, the messy state of the kitchen made him cringe. The counters were covered in flour, egg shells, and traces of spilled milk. The trash can in the corner was overflowing with garbage. And the coffee pot, which Dean had been planning to use, was hidden under a pile of dishes in the small sink. The kitchen was a total wreck. Just like the rest of their motel room.

Instead of fighting his way to the sink to wash out the coffee pot for his morning pick-me-up, Dean just turned around and shuffled back into the main part of the motel room. He still needed to pee and he still wanted some coffee, but he didn't want to disturb anyone else to get it. Ugh, why did sharing a room with five other people have to be so damn hard? It was never this hard before. Dean basically grew up in cramped motel rooms. Why did it feel so difficult now?

Feeling frustrated and weary, Dean wandered his way back over to the bed he shared with Cas. The angel was still pinned down by their sleeping three-year-old, caught underneath Jude's limp clinging arms. But Cas smiled brightly when he saw Dean approaching. Man. Was Dean ever going to get used to how blue Cas's eyes were?

“Are you alright, Dean?” Cas whispered, still cradling Jude's head.

Dean wasn't sure how to reply to the angel's question. The honest answer was 'no.' Dean was not alright. He hated waking up to piles of junk and not being able to use the bathroom or kitchen. Living in this motel room was slowly driving him crazy. But he didn't want to mention it out loud because he knew that Cas couldn't fix it and he didn't want the angel to feel bad. Before Dean could even gather up a solid answer for Cas's question, Gabriel yelled from the kitchen.

“Hey, uncle Dean,” the archangel called, sounding worried, “Can you help us in here? Dickie sort of got a hold of the syrup bottle.”

Dean briefly closed his eyes and exhaled heavily. Oh, dammit. He could only imagine the sort of damage Gabe's dog was doing in the kitchen. There was probably syrup all over the floor and walls. Dean was ready to stomp his way back to the kitchen in a whirlwind of aggravation – when Cas caught him by the hand. The angel carefully shifted out from under Jude's tiny body on the bed, holding onto Dean's hand the whole time.

“Allow me,” Cas volunteered quietly.

Dean's rage dropped a few levels as he watched his angel stand up from the bed. Cas must have been able to see how frustrated Dean was this morning, because the guy smiled sweetly and gave his hand a tight squeeze before going to deal with the trickster in the kitchen. Dean watched Cas go, secretly admiring the graceful way he swept passed all the toys on the floor. Man, Cas was always so nice. Even when he didn't know what was bothering Dean, he still did everything he could to help.

While Cas rounded Sam and Gabe's bed to get to the kitchen, Dean leaned over watch him leave – and accidentally stepped on something sharp. The man jumped up and slapped a hand over his own mouth to keep from shouting at the sudden pain. Ow! Son of a bitch! What the hell was that?! Dean limped away and looked down to see a few Lego blocks lying on the carpet. The brightly colored blocks made Dean start to glare and fume. Damn Legos! Where the hell did they come from? And why were they just laying around to be stepped on? That was worse than stepping on hot coals!

At the end of his breaking point, Dean huffed a breath and looked around the room. He desperately needed a second to catch his breath and be alone. Still limping, the man quickly wobbled over to the table where he shifted around some stuff to look for his car keys. After a second or two of lifting papers and moving coloring books, Dean snatched up the metal keys and made a B-line for the door. In the back of his mind, he knew that he was only wearing his boxer shorts and a t-shirt, but he didn't care. He just needed a minute to be alone.

Dean's Impala was sitting just a few feet in front of the motel door. The gorgeous black paint and chrome rims shined like diamonds in the morning sun. Just looking at her made Dean feel better. The man quickly rounded the hood to climb in and sit down in front of the steering wheel. He gently closed the door beside him and took a deep breath. Ah. The smell of old upholstery and gunpowder instantly put him at ease. The silence helped his nerves settle and the comfortable seat helped his muscles relax. Sitting in his car felt like coming home.

Once Dean was in his happy place, he closed his eyes and leaned forward to rest his forehead on the warm steering wheel. When his son Jude came along – and his niece Jessica, who followed only five months later – Dean thought that his traveling days were over. He thought that having a baby would force him to finally stop hunting and settle down somewhere. But it didn't. For one reason or another, Dean and Sam sort of just kept hunting. They and their angels took turns watching the babies back at their motel rooms. For three years, the six of them had been living out of suitcases the same way Dean and Sam did when they were growing up.

But it was harder now then it was before, both physically and mentally. Mostly because Dean didn't want this for his son. Jude and Jessica had been living on the road ever since they were born and Dean hated it. He never wanted his kid to grow up in a motel room like he did. He wanted Jude to have his own room, with his own bed and dressers and toy boxes. He wanted to give Jude a big kitchen, a big bathroom, and a big living room. Dean wanted to give his child an actual home. But three years had gone by and the Winchesters were still living like gypsies...

The door handle on the passenger side of the Impala suddenly wiggled.

Dean raised his head and blinked toward his right to see who was opening the door. At first, it looked like the door was opening by itself. The handle jiggled and the metal hinges creaked as the door slowly swung open. Dean eyed the tan upholstery and clear glass window in suspicion, wondering how the car door was moving on its own. But a short little head of spiked hair eventually bobbed its way into view.

A sigh of contentment eased out of Dean's mouth as he watched his three-year-old son start to climb up into the Impala. Jude was still wearing his flannel pajamas, which were covered in comic book characters. The vivid colors of Superman, Green Lantern, and Batman's logos were harshly bright in the morning sunlight. Jude's chestnut hair was sticking out in all directions. But his blue eyes – the same gorgeous sapphire eyes he got from Cas – were wide open and blinking.

The little guy didn't make a sound as he climbed up into the front seat of the Impala. He had to use his whole body to do it, but he didn't seem to mind. Once he finally made it inside, Jude reached over and shut the passenger side door beside him. He sat silently in the seat afterward, just letting his little bare feet dangle in front of him. Dean stared down at his son beside him, feeling kind of proud. Even though Dean wanted to be alone all morning, it somehow felt nice to have company.

Jude's blue eyes eventually wandered up to meet Dean's and Dean could see a small bit of wonder in his son's bold stare.

“What are you doing, Daddy?” Jude asked, his soft voice housing curiosity.

Dean took a second to just look over Jude's face. God, he looked so much like Cas; especially when he asked questions with his head tilted a bit. But Dean couldn't deny that he could see some of his own features, too. There were at least three freckles dotted on Jude's pale face already.

“Nothing,” Dean eventually answered, easing back to sit against the seat, “Daddy just... wanted to be alone for a minute.”

Dean was afraid that his answer would make Jude uncomfortable. But the kid simply nodded after he heard his father's answer and faced forward to glance at the glove box in front of him. He was quiet for a few more seconds before he spoke again.

“Me too,” Jude sighed.

A genuine smile grew across Dean's face. It had been such a long time since a child looked up to him that Dean forgot just how nice it was to be admired. When Sammy was little, he used to follow Dean around and copy his every action. But now, Jude was the one following him around and copying him. It was his and Cas's son. And somehow it felt even better... Jude eventually looked back up at Dean with a hopeful expression.

“Can we be alone together, Daddy?” he asked, looking so innocent.

Dean's smirk grew even wider.

“Of course we can,” he replied, stretching out his arms, “Come here, little man.”

A tiny smile was on Jude's face as he crawled across the seat to get to his father's open arms. Dean instantly scooped his child up and held him against his chest in front of the steering wheel. Both of Jude's short arms wrapped around Dean's neck and his small head rested against Dean's shoulder.

The man hugged his toddler close and took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the scent of Jude's warm hair and pajamas. Even though he was three years old, Jude still had that baby smell; the indescribable scent that all children were born with. Jude still had a touch of it, and the smell always brought memories back to Dean's mind. Jude was a perfect baby. He never threw temper tantrums or drew on the walls. No, Jude had been a good kid ever since he came out of Cas's grace.

Dean could feel Jude's small heart beating against his own chest as he hugged him and the sensation brought back even more memories. It seemed like only yesterday that Dean held him for the first time. It was only yesterday that Dean and Cas taught Jude how to walk, and talk, and play. Only yesterday that Dean's son was just a baby. But now, he was almost a child. And the idea both saddened and gladdened Dean. Of course he wanted his son to grow up. Just not this fast...

Through the windshield of the Impala, Dean caught sight of the motel room door opening. Cas stalked outside wearing his button-down shirt, black pants, and a look of genuine fear. The angel glanced around the parking lot in a panic before looking at the car. Once he saw Dean and Jude sitting in the Impala, the angel clutched his own chest and breathed a sigh of relief. Apparently, Dean and Jude's disappearance had frightened him.

Cas slowly rounded the hood to get to the driver's side and Dean slid a hand off of Jude's back in order to reach over and roll down the window beside him. The angel slowed to a stop and leaned down to peer into the car at Dean's side, resting both hands on the door.

“Is... Is everything okay?” Cas asked quietly.

As soon as he heard Cas's voice, Jude lifted his head from Dean's shoulder.

“Me and Daddy are being alone together, Papa,” he smiled, “Do you wanna be alone with us?”

Dean and Cas looked at each other and smiled, silently agreeing that their son's improper grammar was the cutest thing in the world. Dean's hand slid up to rest on top of Cas's, where he caressed the angel's fingers with his thumb.

“Yeah, everything is okay,” Dean answered, “We just wanted a quiet moment to ourselves, right son?”

Jude nodded feverishly in Dean's arms, still glancing between his fathers' faces. Cas's fingers curled around Dean's on the door as the two of them smiled at each other again.

“Well, I'm sorry to interrupt your moment,” Cas said lowly, letting his eyes focus solely on Dean, “But the, um... the parade will be starting in two hours.”

Oh. Right. Dean had forgotten all about the parade. Today was the day before Thanksgiving, and the town that the Winchesters were currently staying in was going to have a small parade to celebrate. Naturally, when Dean and Sam saw the time and place on a brightly-colored flier a week before, they planned to take their kids to see it. But it had completely slipped Dean's mind and now he was mentally scrambling. Jude, on the other hand, perked up when he heard Cas mention it.

“Parade?” he repeated, his little voice high and full of excitement.

“Yep,” Dean answered, eying his son's precious face, “But you've gotta get dressed if you want to go, okay?”

“Okay!” Jude sang, already reaching for the door handle.

Dean and Cas both smiled again as they watched their son pop open the door and quickly scurry for the motel room. He was a man on a mission; so excited about getting dressed for a parade that he didn't even notice that he was running around with bare feet.

Once Jude raced inside, Cas gave Dean's hand a squeeze and started to pull away from the car – but Dean tugged him back by the arm. He reached out and took hold of Cas's white collar to yank the angel's head through the open window and kiss him. Their mouths met with a sudden impact and Dean let his tongue jut out to caress Cas's. He didn't let go until he heard the tiny 'mmm' echo up from the base of the angel's throat. Dean plucked his mouth away just enough to look at Cas properly. Cas was visibly stunned by the sudden kiss, but a warm smile carefully inched across his lips.

“Good morning to you too, Dean,” the angel sighed happily.


Dean pulled over and parked the Impala in an abandoned grocery store parking lot. He chose this spot because it was at least half a mile away from the starting point of the parade and he didn't want his car being recognized or scratched up during the celebration. He hadn't been to a parade in years and he wasn't about to let his guard down now. The Impala was packed full of people, as it usually was now-a-days. Dean, Cas, and Sam were all sandwiched in the front seat and Gabriel was wedged in between Jude and Jessica's car seats in the back. Dickie, the trickster's dog, was laying in Gabe's lap on top of his stuffed moose.

Jude and Jess were both craning their necks to look out the windows when the car came to a stop, trying to steal a peek at the colorful floats nearby. The youthful excitement on their little faces made Dean happy. But he knew that they couldn't start having fun until he went over the rules. The oldest Winchester shut off the engine and turned in his seat so that he could see everyone better.

“Okay,” Dean started, using his best 'dad' voice, “I know you're all excited to go and watch the Thanksgiving parade and get some candy -”

“What's spanks-giving?” Jessica interrupted, sounding curious.

“It's what your uncle Dean and uncle Cas do when the doors are closed,” Gabriel replied instantly, shooting Dean a wink.

Dean huffed a breath and gave the trickster a slight glare. Really? Adult jokes in front of the kids? Sam turned around in his seat to gave Gabe a subtle look too, before reaching out to touch Jessica's dangling foot.

“Thanksgiving is a holiday where we celebrate what we're thankful for, Jessie,” Sam explained.

“And eat lots of turkey and pie,” Gabriel added.

“But before we go and watch this parade, you've got to tell me what the number one rule is,” Dean stated.

Jude and Jessica both glanced around the inside of the Impala, briefly meeting eyes with each other. Dean – and Sam, Cas, and Gabe too – waited to hear the kids answer the question. They went over this rule with their children every single time they went out, so the two of them should have known the answer by now. Dean's eyes shifted to his son and he blinked down at him with hopefulness.

“What's the number one rule, Jude?” he urged, keeping his voice light.

“... Buddy system?” Jude replied shyly.

“That's right,” Dean agreed, “If something goes wrong, everyone has to find their buddy. Let's practice right now. Everybody grab their buddy's hand and hold it up.”

Dean instantly reached over, took Cas's hand, and raised it up. Sam and Gabriel reached out to wrap their fingers together over the front seat. And Jude and Jessica stretched their tiny arms toward each other, reaching out to clasp their hands in front of Gabriel. Dean nodded when the two toddlers looked at him.

“No matter what happens, you've got to know where your buddy is at all times,” he reinforced, “So if you can't find any of us, you at least have your buddy. Now, if something really bad happens and you can't find your buddy or anyone else you know, what do you do?”

“Fly!” Jessica exclaimed with a grin.

Dean didn't miss that Jude's blue eyes flitted downward and his cheeks went pale. Dean's stomach ached at the sight of his child's distress. Even after learning to get his grace under control, Jude still hated flying. And Dean couldn't blame the poor kid for being scared.

“Right,” Sam agreed, picking up where Dean left off, “and where do you fly to?”

“Uncle Bobby's,” Jessie answered.

“Man, you are one smart cookie, Jessie-Rabbit,” Gabriel praised, reaching over to tussle his little girl's blonde hair.

Jessica giggled and beamed with pride. But Jude sank down into his car seat and refused to look up, and it made Dean's heart throb. Dammit, he hated when his kid was scared and worried...

“Alright, let's go have fun,” Dean announced.

Everyone let go of each other and started getting out of the car afterward, and Dean instantly went to get Jude out of his car seat. The little guy sat there while his daddy unbuckled all the straps and took them off. Once Jude was free, Dean scooped him up and held him close to kiss his cheek and whisper in his ear.

“Don't worry, little man. As long as Daddy's around, you won't have to fly anywhere,” he promised.

A new smile returned to Jude's face after hearing Dean's statement. He hugged his daddy's neck tight and Dean took the time to smell his child's comforting scent again before lowering him to the ground. Once he was standing in his little boots, Jude walked over and took Cas's hand. In the meantime, Sam met Dean at the trunk and the two of them quickly and casually popped open the false bottom to grab a few handguns. They tried their best to slip the guns into their waistbands without their children seeing... just like they did every time they went out.

“Think we'll have to use them this time?” Sam breathed as he handed a magazine of bullets to his brother.

“I hope not,” Dean sighed, “but you never know. Better safe than sorry.”

Sam nodded in agreement as he shut the trunk and locked it. The Winchester brothers always made sure to keep each other safe. But now that they had children in their dangerous lives, safety had become more than just a routine. It was a number one priority that they couldn't afford to ignore, especially when they went out in public. Demons and angels could literally pop out of nowhere, so they had to institute the buddy system and train their kids to fly away at the first sign of danger. Jude and Jess were too young to fight right now, so the best way to protect them was to get them out of harm's way altogether.

“Who is Dickie's buddy, Papa?”

Dean raised his head at the sound of Jessica's tiny voice as he and Sam rounded the car to join their family. Gabriel had put Jessica on his shoulders, which made the two of them just as tall as Sam. Sam leaned over and kissed his little girl's face when he was close enough. Meanwhile, Dean sneaked over to take Jude's free hand; making it possible for him and Cas to gently swing their son in the air and make him giggle. Jude's brown hair and plaid jacket ruffled around in the breeze as he happily swung between his smiling parents.

“Dickie's buddy? What do you mean, honeydew?” Gabriel asked, as he led the way toward the edge of the parade.

“You and Daddy is buddies,” Jessica pointed out, “Uncle Cassie and Dean is buddies. Me and Jude is buddies. But Dickie is all alone.”

“Well, um... Dickie has his moose. Right, Daddy?” Gabe said, turning to gave Sam a hard wink.

“Uh, yeah. That's right,” Sam backed up, giving Jess a smile, “Dickie's buddy is his moose.”

“But he doesn't have him,” Jessica said, using her little finger to point to the Jack Russell Terrier walking beside them, “Dickie's alone, Daddy! He needs a buddy!”

“Shhh, don't worry, sunshine,” Gabriel consoled, patting his daughter's little legs, “Papa's always got Dickie's buddy with him.”

The archangel held out one of his hands and his dog's stuffed moose materialized in his palm. Once it appeared there, Dickie started barking fanatically and jumping up and down, obviously surprised to see his moose again. Gabriel tossed the toy to his dog, who instantly picked it up with his mouth and kept walking, looking like a mother dog carrying one of her pups. The sight must have been funny to the kids because Jessica and Jude both laughed, making all of their daddies smile in the process.

Large crowds of people were gathered along the main street waiting for the parade and the Winchesters casually blended in with them. Dean picked up Jude and took Cas by the hand as he waded through the people to get closer to the street. He could see that the big floats were lined up just a few buildings away, and would only be a matter of time before they slowly started making their way closer. While they waited, Dean turned back to meet Cas's eyes.

“Is this a good spot?” he asked over the chattering noise of the crowd.

“As long as Jude can observe the festivities, I am perfectly content with this spot,” Cas replied.

The angel was like a statue among animals; standing perfectly still while everyone else around him swayed around with jittery excitement. Dean gave Cas's hand a squeeze before he looked to his son's face.

“Jude, can you see the floats?” Dean asked.

Although both of Jude's arms were wrapped around Dean's neck, his blue eyes were concentrating on something across the street. Dean followed his son's line of sight to try and figure out what the kid was staring at, but all he could see was another crowd.

“Daddy,” Jude said, his voice so quiet that Dean could barely hear him, “Who is that man?”

Dean's eyebrows drew together. Man? What man? Dean instantly scanned the space that Jude was staring toward, seeing all the people on the other side of the street. There were lots of men over there. Which one was Jude talking about?

“What man?” Dean asked.

“Him,” Jude said, using his finger to point, “That glowy one.”

Dean's worry spiked. Glowy one? Was there a glowing man nearby? Was he a monster? Was he an angel? Again, Dean searched the spot his son was pointing toward, but he couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. There weren't any glowing men in the area. Just a bunch of college kids, old guys, and dads with their children. Still, Dean stared as hard as he could, hoping to see whatever his son was seeing.

“What does he look like, son?” Dean asked.

He looked at Jude's face to get the kid's answer, but Jude wasn't staring across the street anymore. His blue eyes were wide and full of happiness as he watched the first big float come rolling by in front of them. The entire cast of sesame street – including Bert and Ernie, who were Jude's favorite characters – waved joyfully at the crowd from on top of the moving platform. And the sparkle of utter excitement in Jude's eyes made Dean's heart melt.

“Papa, look!” Jude shouted, reaching over to tug on Cas's coat collar, “It's Bert and Ernie!”

“I see them, Jude,” Cas nodded and smiled.

The people dressed as puppets started tossing candy toward the crowd and Jude held both hands out, trying to catch as many pieces as he could. In the meantime, Dean leaned back to tug Cas into a half hug. Both of them grinned with pride as their son enjoyed his very first parade.

For the time being, Dean dismissed the weird question about the glowing man. Whoever – or whatever – it was didn't seem to be very important to Jude anymore. The only thing Jude cared about in that moment was waving at his favorite TV characters and seeing all the pretty floats. But Dean tucked the thought of the glowing man in the back of his mind, just in case he needed to deal with it again.

Chapter Text

After draining his bladder and yawning for the fourth time, Sam lazily reached down and flushed the toilet in the dark. It was almost eleven o'clock in the morning, but he was just now waking up. Trying to sleep in one bed with a three-year-old, an archangel, and a snoring dog wasn't easy. Sam thought that all the excitement of watching the parade the day before would have made everyone tired enough to sleep soundly. But he was wrong. Jessica rolled around between her daddies all night long – and at one point, Dickie even decided to have a quickie with his moose. Needless to say, Sam was exhausted before he even woke up.

But as tired as he was, Sam considered himself to be pretty happy. For the past three years, his life had been nothing but blissful chaos filled with hair bows, dresses, dolls, teddy bears, giggles, and blonde curls. And he loved every second of it. Being a parent to a precious baby girl was the best job in the world and more rewarding than Sam ever thought possible. So he didn't mind losing a few hours of sleep. It was worth it to wake up in a bed filled with all his favorite people.

Sam blindly searched around the wall for the light switch and turned it on before shuffling over to the bathroom sink. The whole counter was cluttered with numerous toothbrushes, hairbrushes, bath toys, and damp towels; the messy result of a bathroom having to be shared with four grown-ups and two toddlers. Sam yawned again as he rinsed his hands off and dug around the mess for his own toothbrush. He was hoping to at least get rid of his morning breath before speaking with anyone.

But then, the door opened behind him.

Sam glanced up to see his little spiky-haired nephew poke his head inside. Jude's blue eyes met Sam's in the mirror and his small face went a little pale.

“Sorry uncle Sammy,” he mumbled bashfully, backing out.

“It's okay, Jude. Come on in,” Sam offered, turning around.

Dean and Cas's son timidly inched inside the room while Sam walked for the door. The man decided to hold off on brushing his teeth until later because it seemed like Jude really needed to use the bathroom. Sam reached down and ruffled Jude's chestnut hair as he passed by, feeling like he was interacting with a younger version of Dean rather than his nephew. Jude gave Sam a soft smile before darting for the toilet in his superhero pajamas.

Sam stepped out and shut the door behind him to give Jude some privacy as he ventured back into the brightly lit motel room. Jessica – Sam's beautiful little girl who had kept him awake most of the night – was still asleep on his and Gabe's bed, tangled up in the sheets with her white rabbit in one limp hand and her pink and yellow blanket in the other. Sam smiled at his sleeping daughter's cute face from a distance. Man, she looked so much like Gabriel. She was so small and petite and dainty. And oh-so blonde. A piece of her messy golden hair was shining in a beam of morning sunshine and the sight made Sam wonder – where was Gabe? Sam was pretty sure he had left the archangel in bed with their daughter, but he was gone now.

“I've already told you, shorty. We can't do it here.”

Dean's annoyed voice caught Sam's attention. The younger Winchester carefully stepped around a few of Jessica and Jude's toys to get to the main part of the room, where he saw Dean, Cas, and Gabriel all standing by the door. Sam listened to their conversation as he came closer, trying to figure out what they were talking about.

“Oh yeah? And why not?” Gabe challenged, crossing his arms.

“Uh, hello? Take a look around,” Dean said, gesturing to their cluttered habitat, “There's not enough room here. Besides, eating a Thanksgiving dinner in a motel room is both sad and pathetic. Not to mention unsanitary.”

Sam's eyebrows drew together as he glanced between his older brother and his archangel boyfriend. Thanksgiving dinner? Did Gabriel seriously want to have a genuine Thanksgiving dinner? Like real families did? Sam tried to imagine it for a second; sitting down with his family to eat stuffing and pie, laughing at old stories, watching the kids enjoy their first official turkey day... That actually sounded kind of nice.

“Okay. I'll admit this place isn't the Taj Mahal,” Gabriel shrugged, “but its not that bad. I mean, I can take the beds out of here for a few hours, and we can borrow a nice big table and some chairs from the local furniture place, and stop by the grocery store to pick up a turkey. And some pie. Pie, freckles. You're not gonna say no to pie, are you?”

Dean paused to toss his head back and let out a long exhausted sigh. Sam could feel a small smile trying to rise on his own face. He knew better than anyone that Gabriel was dangerously persuasive. The trickster knew how to press all the right buttons until he got what he wanted. Dean eventually looked over at Cas next to him, who had been standing by silently the whole time.

“What do you think, Cas?” he muttered.

The blue-eyed angel nervously glanced between Dean and Gabriel before quietly clearing his throat.

“I... I think that Jude and Jessica would enjoy having a large meal with their family... No matter where it takes place,” Cas answered carefully.

Sam totally agreed with Cas's answer. It didn't matter where they had dinner. All that really mattered was that everyone was together. It seemed like Dean agreed with Cas too, because he let out another small sigh and forced a nod.

“... Alright, fine. Do whatever you want,” he mumbled to Gabriel, “Just keep in mind that Sam and I don't have any money.”

Gabriel let out a hard, humorless chuckle before jutting his thumb toward Sam standing nearby.

“I'm practically married to the moose, Dean-o. Of course I know we don't have money,” he replied, “Luckily, you guys chose to be with angels. And angels don't exactly need money to get what they want, do we Cassie?”

Cas's only reply was the flat look he gave his archangel brother. Once Gabriel was convinced that his point was made, he flashed a wide grin and took a step closer to Sam.

“Now if you'll excuse me, I have to do something I've been wanting to do all morning,” he announced.

With a single hand, Gabriel reached up, took hold of Sam's tank top strap, and yanked him down to smash their lips together. The man blinked repeatedly inside his sudden kiss, feeling both excited and kind of embarrassed. He didn't get a chance to brush his teeth this morning and Gabriel's sweet tongue was already inside his mouth. But despite the weird flavor, it seemed like Gabe wanted to keep going and Sam couldn't fight him off. Their tongues where like energetic dolphins rubbing against each other underwater. The archangel plucked his lips away after a moment to search Sam's face with those perfect golden eyes.

“Nothing beats the taste of a moose fresh from hibernation,” Gabe grinned.

Sam was momentarily dazed. There was a hint of cotton candy in his mouth and his head was swimming. But he eventually found some words to use.

“Thanksgiving dinner?” he prompted, hoping it made sense.

“Yep,” Gabe answered, “We're finally gonna do it this year, kiddo. Turkey and all.”

“Turkey?”

Sam and Gabriel both turned toward the left at the sound of a squeaky voice. Their little girl, whose blonde curls were tangled all over her small head, was standing near the foot of Dean and Cas's bed in her pink nightgown. She was rubbing her sleepy emerald-copper eyes and clinging loosely to a long ear of her stuffed rabbit. It seemed like Jess had climbed out of bed and walked over just to listen to their conversation.

“Good morning, baby-bunny,” Gabe sang.

The archangel gently scooped Jessica up into his arms and gave her cheek a warm kiss while she yawned. Sam smiled at both of them as he reached up to move some of Jess's hair out of her face. He loved seeing both of them together like this. Sam loved having his family all in one place.

“Are we going to cellular-brate wanks-giving, Papa?” Jessie asked, sounding so innocent.

Gabriel was barely able to keep down a chuckle as he flashed Sam a look of humorous surprise. Sam was pretty shocked too. Wanks-giving? Man, Jessica was definitely Gabriel's child...

“It's Thanksgiving, Jessica. Thhhhanksgiving,” Sam corrected softly, giving the first part some emphasis.

“Fffffanks-giving,” she said, trying her best to repeat it.

“That's close enough, sunshine,” Gabriel praised with a wink, “Listen, Papa and uncle Cassie are going to go and get some stuff for later, so you've gotta stay here and be a good girl for Daddy and uncle Dean, okay?”

“Okay,” she agreed, still rubbing her eyes.

Gabriel gave her forehead another kiss before handing her off to Sam. Sam eagerly took their little girl into his arms and shifted her around toward his torso. Jessica wrapped an arm around her Daddy's neck and laid her small head on his shoulder – and the sensation briefly brought Sam back to the days when she was just a baby. Jess was always so willing to hug someone; so warm and cuddly, even from infancy. And holding her always made Sam feel powerful; like a wolf ready to defend its pup. For some reason, holding Jessica gave him confidence and strength...

“Papa will be back soon,” Gabriel promised as he casually pecked Sam's lips with his own.

“Be careful, Gabe,” Sam requested, giving the archangel a stern look.

“You've got it, moose-cakes,” he agreed, “C'mon, Cassie. Let's roll.”

Sam stood by and watched the two angels disappear from the motel room. A slight gust of wind rustled the open coloring books on the table and the curtains in front of the window. Dean was left standing near the door with a weary look on his face, seeming exasperated by Gabriel's constant need to fill his life with shenanigans.

“You'd better get more than one pie,” Dean barked loudly toward the ceiling.

After shouting out his dessert request, the older Winchester walked over to Sam and reached up to gently tickle Jessica's side. Jess's head sprang up from Sam's shoulder and she giggled loudly, making her uncle and father both smile.

“'Morning, blondie. Did you have fun yesterday?” Dean asked.

“Uh-huh,” Jessica nodded.

“We're gonna have fun today too, aren't we?” Sam prompted.

“Yep! 'Cause today is Fanks-giving!” she rejoiced.

“Well, you better get dressed then. Can't eat turkey in your PJs,” Dean said.

Jessica started to wiggle her way out of Sam's arms immediately, forcing him to bend over and place her on the floor. As she was most days, Jess was all too eager to go and pick out what to wear. Sam watched his three-year-old race to the other side of the room and dive into the stack of duffel bags, feeling proud. Jessica was already as independent as a teenager and she wasn't even out of her toddler years yet.

“I hope Gabriel knows what he's doing,” Dean muttered to Sam as he walked passed.

“He does,” Sam assured quietly, feeling confident in his beloved archangel, “He always does...”

Jessica, as usual, picked out a rather strange outfit for herself. She chose to wear an orange and yellow striped sweater, blue tights, her favorite rubber boots covered in rainbow colors, and a pink tutu skirt to pull everything together. Sam was confused by his daughter's weird taste in fashion to say the least – but he never made her change. If those were the clothes she wanted to wear, then he wasn't going to stop her. In fact, he really liked Jessica's individuality. It was just another piece of Gabriel's amazing personality that happened to get passed down to her.

And, like most days, Jessica took it upon herself to dress everyone else too. She 'persuaded' Jude to put on a green plaid shirt and blue jeans, and made him wear his black and yellow striped scarf. She told her uncle Dean to take off his jacket, made Sam wear tennis-shoes – and even put a special collar on Dickie. The first time Sam saw it, he had to double-take. The collar was jet-black with a sparkly bow on the front, which made it look like Dickie was wearing a bow tie. Where did that collar even come from? Sam couldn't remember ever seeing it on the dog before, but it made Dickie look so suave. So dapper. Sam couldn't deny that his daughter had a talent for dressing people up and making them look their best.

It wasn't long before the angels came back to the motel with armfuls of grocery bags. Gabriel did everything he said he was going to do. He started by getting rid of the double beds and replacing them with a large table and chairs – using his grace, of course. After that, all the adults started carrying food to the main room from the kitchen while the toddlers watched with excitement. Sam didn't know where or how Gabriel was able to get all of the food, but he was too hungry to openly question it. The turkey was golden-brown and juicy, the vegetables were steaming, the rolls were glistening with butter, and everything smelled so good. He couldn't wait to dig in and have his first official Thanksgiving.

But just as they finished carrying the last few dishes into the main room, Gabriel caught Sam in the kitchen. The archangel tugged the man into the farthest corner and stood up on the tips of his toes to give Sam a huge sloppy kiss. Sam wasn't expecting the sudden burst of chemicals that rushed through his veins when he felt Gabriel's tongue in his mouth, so he pulled away almost immediately.

Mmm,” Sam hummed, “What are you doing?”

Before his question was even answered, Sam could already see the lust in Gabriel's honey eyes. The archangel pawed at the front of Sam's shirt as he huffed a heated breath.

“I'm getting desperate for you, that's what,” he replied in a hushed tone, “Seeing you in that flannel makes me want to do things.”

“Gabe, I always wear flannel,” Sam reminded.

“I know,” Gabriel exhaled.

Before Sam could reply, Gabe was kissing him again, gently pushing him up against the wall and plucking at the first few buttons on his shirt. Sam knew exactly what was happening. When it came to their sex life, Sam and Gabe were sort of going through a dry spell. Not because they weren't willing – hell, they always wanted to bang each other. It was because they could never find a time or place to be alone anymore. Jessica and Jude always seemed to be awake and alert and everyone was sharing the same motel room because the toddlers didn't want to be apart, so that left Sam and Gabe with nowhere to bang one out. It had been almost two months – two long, painfully abstinent months – since they were able to even see each other naked...

But as much as Sam wanted to bend Gabriel over the counter and screw his ass until the sun came up, he knew that they couldn't do it right now. Thanksgiving dinner was getting ready to start and everyone was waiting for them in the other room. They couldn't even squeeze in a make-out session, let alone a quickie. Sam hesitantly forced his mouth away from Gabe's and panted a bit as he reached for the pumpkin pie on the counter.

“N – not now, Gabe,” Sam breathed, hating the sound, “Jess is going to wonder where we are. Come on.”

Sam could tell that Gabriel was wanting to argue – that he wanted to just grab Sam and fly away somewhere so that they could finally get it out of their systems – but the mention of their daughter seemed to help him regain a sense of understanding. The archangel shook his head in defeat, grabbed the last pie, and followed closely at Sam's back.

“One of these days, I'm finally going to get you alone again, Sammy-boy. And when I do, I'm gonna tie you down and ride your giant dick until you beg for mercy,” Gabe whispered, voice full of seduction.

Sam gulped hard, feeling his crotch respond to the dirty thoughts Gabriel put in his head.

“I can't wait,” Sam replied lowly, tossing the archangel a smirk over his shoulder.

The two of them, both red-faced and flustered, eventually wandered back out of the kitchen with the rest of dessert. Dean, Jess, and Jude were all seated at the table, impatiently stealing tiny pieces of food. Dickie was sitting on the floor next to Jessica's chair and wagging his tail, silently waiting for something to fall to him. Sam eyed the whole table as he placed the pumpkin pie near the turkey and noticed that someone was missing.

“Where's Cas?” Sam asked, looking at his brother.

Dean finished chewing and swallowing the small piece of turkey he had stolen before talking.

“He said he forgot something and went to go get it,” he answered.

“Not something,” Gabe interrupted, giving both Winchesters a sneaky look, “Someone.”

Sam gave his archangel a strange glance before meeting eyes with Dean again. Someone? Did they honestly forget someone? Who was Gabriel talking about? The answer seemed to come to Sam and Dean at the same time, because both sets of their eyes cleared and they shared an equal look of guilt.

“Bobby,” they said in unison.

Almost immediately after they said his name, the motel door opened across the room. Everyone, children included, raised their heads to watch Cas walk inside – followed by the old man himself. Bobby was dressed in his usual plaid shirt, vest jacket, and faded baseball cap, but his face looked scruffier than usual. His beard was longer and unkempt, seeming grayer than it ever had been before. His eyes were a little sunken back too, like he hadn't gotten much sleep lately, but a genuine smile rose beneath his beard when he looked up to see the kids. Jude and Jessica both let out gasps of excitement.

“Uncle Bobby!” Jude exclaimed.

The two toddlers wiggled out of their seats and dashed across the room with their tiny arms open wide. Bobby instantly knelt down to catch them both in his own, wrapping them into a giant hug. All the other adults in the room smiled at the warm exchange. Sam knew exactly how the kids felt, because he used to be – and still was – just as excited to see Bobby again.

“Hey, lil' rascals,” Bobby grinned, “Man, you two are growin' like weeds.”

“Look, uncle Bobby! Papa got a turkey!” Jude said, pointing to the table behind him.

“And punk'in pie!” Jess added.

“Mmm, boy, that looks good,” Bobby replied.

“Did you bring the doggies?” Jude asked, sounding hopeful.

“As a matter of fact, I did,” Bobby answered, pausing to turn around and give a short whistle, “C'mon, boys.”

Sam stepped around the table to get a better look at the door, where three small dogs dashed into the room. Jude and Jessica let out squealing giggles as Peter, Willy, and Humphrey – Bobby's three hellhound and Jack Russell mixes – came rushing up to tackle them and lick their faces. Now that they were adults, Bobby's dogs were a bit larger and furrier than their father Dickie, but their mannerisms were the same as when they were puppies. Peter was still the alpha, Willy was still a pervert, and Humphrey was still an idiot. But they all obeyed their master with sincere devotion. Those dogs loved Bobby more than anything, just like Dickie loved Gabe.

“Be careful,” Bobby muttered to his dogs.

While the toddlers played with the animals, the old man climbed back to his feet and stood up to glance around the room at all the adults, giving them looks of pleasant surprise.

“I'm glad you fellas are actually celebratin' Thanksgivin' and all,” Bobby mentioned, eying Sam and Dean in particular, “but in a motel room? Really? I've gotta whole kitchen you could've used, ya know.”

“Hey, don't look at us, man. This was all his idea,” Dean accused, pointing a finger at Gabe.

Gabriel flashed Dean a childish look before turning back to Bobby, who clearly wanted an explanation.

“Alright look, Singer. We love you and your house. But ever since the munchkins were born, I feel like we've worn out our welcome. We always show up at your place and take advantage of your hospitality. So this time, I figured we'd have Thanksgiving here and spare you the trouble,” Gabe said carefully.

Sam turned his head to give Gabriel a look of genuine admiration. He never realized that Gabe had taken Bobby's feelings into account when he planned to have this dinner. Everything Gabe said was true; they really did take advantage of Bobby's hospitality every now and then. Not on purpose, of course, but they still barged in on him a lot. And it was really considerate of Gabriel to give him some space just this once. Bobby's eyes softened a bit beneath the bill of his hat and he gave a gentle shrug.

“Y'all know you're always welcome at my place,” he mumbled, clearing his throat, “... Anyways, thanks for inviting me... But before we eat, I need to talk to Dean and Sam... Alone.”

Without another word, Bobby gestured for the Winchesters to follow him and spun around for the door, leaving his dogs to play with Jude and Jess while he stepped back outside. All of the adults glanced at each other with suspicion as Sam and Dean hesitantly got up to follow him. None of them knew what the old man needed to talk about and they were all equally curious. Even the toddlers were wearing looks of concern as they watched their fathers walk for the door. Luckily, Gabriel was able to steal their attention with a loud and playful tone.

“Okay, kiddos, who's ready to eat some turkey?” the archangel asked.

Jude and Jessica instantly hopped up from the floor and dashed to the table, where their angelic fathers helped them get their plates. In the meantime, Sam followed closely at Dean's back as he led the way outside to where Bobby was standing. The old man was hovering near the front of Impala in the parking lot with both hands stuffed into his jacket pockets, trying to brace against the chill in the evening air. His gray eyes were shifting around nervously, refusing to focus on one thing. He seemed uncomfortable for some reason and his odd behavior put Sam on edge. Was something wrong? Did something happen to him in the few weeks since they last saw him?

Sam closed the motel door at his back, sealing the hunters away from everyone else. Once they were alone with Bobby, Dean shrugged his shoulders and gave the old man a questioning look.

“What's going on, Bobby?” the older brother asked, sounding just as confused as Sam.

“I know you boys've already got your hands full,” Bobby began, his voice low and eyes still wandering, “with the babies, and the angels, and whatever-the-hell-else you've got goin' on... but I really need your help with somethin'.”

Sam and Dean shared another worried look. Bobby rarely ever asked them for help. The old man was usually able to handle things on his own, so whatever he needed help with now obviously had to be difficult.

“What is it?” Sam asked, extremely curious.

Bobby paused to huff a breath, making the hot air fog in front of his mouth as he pulled a hand from his jacket pocket and held out a folded piece of paper. Sam eyed the paper as Dean took it and opened it up, noticing that it looked like a page that had been torn out of a book. A really old book. The handwritten script on the pages was unlike anything Sam had ever seen before; some kind of alien language that he didn't recognize.

“I need you to translate that for me,” Bobby said quietly.

“What is this? Some kind of spell?” Dean asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No. It's gonna tell you the location of a certain book. And I need that book,” the old man replied.

“What's in it? Lore? Witchcraft?” Sam prompted.

“It's... It's supposed to give instructions on... how to open a temporary portal,” Bobby hesitantly admitted.

The Winchesters both raised their heads from the page to give Bobby a few surprised looks. A portal? That sounded like serious business.

“A portal to what?” Dean asked, voicing Sam's thoughts.

Bobby exhaled heavily again and rolled his eyes, acting annoyed and flustered. It seemed like he didn't want to answer any of their questions; like he was trying to keep this whole thing a secret, even from Sam and Dean.

“A portal to what, Bobby?” Dean pressed.

“Hell,” Bobby snapped, finally letting his eyes meet theirs, “It's a portal to hell, alright?”

Sam's jaw lowered a bit as he stared at Bobby in shock. Hell? Why did Bobby need to go to hell? Did he sign a contract with a demon or something? Did he sell his soul and want to get it back? Did he have a score to settle with someone who died or something? A million questions zoomed through Sam's mind in the span of five seconds and every single one left him speechless.

“Uhh,” Dean began, sounding just as bewildered, “Wh – why do you need to go to hell?”

“'Cause I just do, okay?” Bobby growled back.

After hearing the sound of his own cold voice, Bobby hung his head a bit, letting the bill of his hat block his face. Sam and Dean were both silent as they waited patiently for the old man to explain.

“Look,” Bobby eventually began, his voice softer and more vulnerable, “This is something I've gotta do. I know it sounds shady and dangerous, but I don't wanna go into details about it. So you're just gonna have to trust me... Will you help me out or not?”

Sam took a deep breath before he met eyes with Dean again, but he could already tell that they were going to have the same answer. Of course they were going to help Bobby. He was their friend, their uncle, their father. Bobby had helped them countless times before, especially when they were starting families of their own. No matter how sketchy and suspicious this request was, the Winchesters were going to help. Because they trusted Bobby more than any other guy on the planet.

“Sure,” Dean answered, folding the paper back up, “We'll have Cas and Gabe translated it. Sam and I can get the book for you.”

Bobby's head slowly rose back up and he gave Sam and Dean equal looks of honest gratitude.

“I appreciate that. Seriously,” he mumbled, shifting around awkwardly, “So... Do you think that turkey in there is any good?”

Dean gave the old man a warm smile as he turned and nodded toward the motel door behind him.

“It's the best damn bird I've ever tasted,” he answered with a grin, “You know, other than Cas.”

Sam and Bobby both let out groans of disgust. Ugh, that was so gross! Dean – who seemed proud of himself for still being able to make a dirty joke – wore a grin as he led the way back inside the motel room where the rest of their family was waiting.

None of them mentioned Bobby's request for the rest of the evening. Instead, the Winchesters ate Thanksgiving dinner, told their children stories about old hunts, and generally enjoyed each others' company. Jude insisted on having his dessert first and kept sneaking bits of apple pie while Cas wasn't looking. Jessica kept feeding pieces of her turkey to all the dogs – especially Dickie, who wiggled in his bow tie and held his paw up like a gentleman. And near the end of dinner, Dean and Gabriel dug the wishbone out of the turkey carcass and broke it between them. Dean got the bigger half and Gabriel accused him of cheating, and the playful argument somehow morphed into a game to see who could come up with the best insult. Needless to say, the table roared with laughter.

But even though he tried to push Bobby's request toward the back of his mind and enjoy his meal, Sam still caught himself staring at the old man across the table with worry. Hell was a terrible place, filled with demons, cages, fire, brimstone, and torture. Sam knew all of that from experience and it made him desperate to know why Bobby would ever choose to go there willingly. Why did Bobby want to open a portal to hell? Was it something as simple as letting his dogs visit their first home? Or was it something more sinister? Was Bobby going there to make a deal? To kill someone? Destroy a contract? Sell his own soul? The uncertainty of it all made Sam's stomach ache with concern...

After dinner was over and everyone was full, Bobby decided that he was ready to go home. Gabriel made him a plate of leftovers to take home and gave him a whole pie of his own. Bobby gathered up his dogs and made them wait outside while he hugged and kissed Jude and Jessica. The toddlers didn't want him to go and even started to cry, but he promised he would see them again soon and told them to be good for their daddies. He hugged all the adults afterward and gave Dean and Sam an extra wink; a silent gesture that reminded them of their secret mission to translate the paper for him. Thinking about it again made Sam feel nauseous. He really hoped that whatever Bobby was planning to do wasn't dark. Cas flew Bobby and his dogs home in the blink of an eye, leaving the Winchesters with tear-stained toddlers and exhausted angels.

Sam and Dean gave the their kids a bath while Cas and Gabriel put the motel room back in order. By the time they were dunked inside a tub full of bubbles and bath toys, Jude and Jessica were wearing smiles again. Their daddies let them splash around for a little while before washing them up and getting them out to dry and dress them. Jess wanted to wear her yellow nightgown with the unicorn on the front, so Sam helped her put it on. He gently brushed her wet blonde hair and dried it as best as he could before they walked back out into the motel room. Luckily, the table and chairs were gone; replaced by their motel beds once again. Gabriel smiled when he saw Sam and their daughter approaching.

“You look squeaky-clean, honeydew,” Gabe praised, “Are you ready for bed?”

Jessica nodded slowly as she rubbed her eyes and let out a huge yawn. The busy day of eating and playing clearly wore her out. Behind her, Jude yawned too, looking just as exhausted.

“Okay,” Dean said, trying to edge to his side of the room, “Everybody get their hugs, kisses, and stuffed animals before I turn on the night-lights.”

Jessica instantly turned around to give Jude a hug. Sam watched the two toddlers with a small smile on his face as he lazily crawled into bed. He loved seeing them interact with each other. Jude and Jessica treated each other like best friends rather than siblings or cousins. They had the same kind of relationship that Sam had with Dean.

“Night-night, Jessie,” Jude said softly.

“Night-night, Jude,” Jess replied.

Afterward, Jess went over to her uncles while Jude came to his; each getting hugs and kisses from everyone, just as they did every night. Sam made sure to give his nephew an extra long hug before letting him go back to Dean and Cas. Dickie hoped up on the bed next to Sam afterward, and Sam caught sight of the bow tie on his collar again. He figured that the dog would be ready to take it off now that Thanksgiving was over, so he reached up to unhook it – but Dickie nudged Sam's hand away with his wet nose in protest.

“What? You really want to keep that bow tie on?” the man asked the dog.

Dickie only gave a tiny bark and wagged his tail before resuming his usual spot at the foot of the bed. Sam rolled his eyes. Maybe the fancy bow tie made Dickie feel special or something...

Jessica eventually made her way back to Sam and Gabe's bed, where she crawled up the side and made her way between them. Sam took off his socks before laying down and rolling toward the middle. On the other side, Gabriel shimmied into the sheets and held up Jess's white bunny. Their little girl snatched the rabbit out of the air and hugged it. He tucked Jess's baby blanket around her too, before easing into a comfortable position.

The lamps went out after that, leaving only the soft glow of a few night-lights to illuminate the room. This was usually about the time Sam would read Jessica a story, but everyone was so tired from the holiday that he figured she would go right to sleep. Sam and Gabriel stared down at their baby girl between them for a while, watching her play with the long ears on her stuffed bunny. Jessica's emerald-copper eyes were blinking slowly, indicating that she was on the verge of sleep. But her mind was wide awake.

“Where did my bunny come from?” she suddenly asked.

Sam and Gabe glanced at each other in the semi-darkness and smiled. Jessica loved asking questions. She was like a little sponge, wanting to soak up as much information as she could. Gabriel reached down and curled some of her hair back.

“Dickie got it for you, sunshine,” the archangel whispered, stamping her forehead with a kiss.

“Why?” she asked.

“Because your nickname is 'bunny rabbit,' so he got you one,” Sam breathed, remembering the day clearly in his mind.

“Why is my name bunny rabbit?” Jessie inquired sweetly.

“Because when you were a baby, you loved to eat carrots, just like bunny rabbits,” Gabriel explained.

“When was I a baby?” she asked next.

Sam and Gabriel stared at each other with equal exasperation. Their daughter's questions were slowly getting deeper and more difficult to answer.

“Uhh... It wasn't that long ago, Jess,” Sam whispered, hoping it made sense.

Jessica was quiet for a minute as she blinked slowly at her stuffed animal. Then she tilted her head up to glance between her fathers, wearing an innocently curious expression on her beautiful face.

“Where do babies come from?” she asked.

Sam gulped. Oh, shit. It was the question that all parents dreaded to hear – the one they tried to avoid at all costs – and Sam and Gabe's three-year-old daughter had just asked it. Sam raised his eyes to Gabriel again, hoping that the archangel would be able to give her a suitable answer. But Gabriel's face had gone pale in the dark. He only blinked down at Jessica with wide golden eyes – before reaching over to touch her forehead. Jess's eyes closed instantly and her arms fell limp at her sides. Sam almost gasped in horror as he stared down at his unconscious child.

“Did – did you just put her to sleep?!” Sam hissed at his boyfriend, appalled.

“I – I'm sorry! I panicked,” Gabe squeaked, sounding ashamed.

Gabriel,” Sam groaned, curling Jessica's sleeping form closer to him, “You can't just knock her out when you can't answer her questions! What the hell's the matter with you?”

“I'm sorry! I'm so sorry,” Gabe repeated, looking scared, “Sh – should I wake her back up?”

“No,” Sam sighed, rubbing his own eyes, “Just... Just let her sleep. Why did you do that?”

“Because she wants to know where babies come from, Sammy! Our three-year-old angel just asked about sex!” Gabriel whispered, looking terrified.

“She did not ask about sex, Gabe. She's just a curious toddler who wants to know things,” Sam tried to explain.

There was a small silence in which Sam and Gabriel both looked down at their sleeping daughter. Her blonde hair was still a little wet and her night gown was crooked, but she still looked so perfect. She really was an angel; the perfect embodiment of heaven itself...

“I don't want to lie to our kid, Sam,” Gabriel whispered, sounding so sincere, “I always want to tell her the truth... So, how in the world are we going to answer that question if she asks it again?”

Sam took a deep breath and looked back up into Gabe's honey eyes. He completely agreed with the archangel's statement. Sam didn't want to lie to their daughter either. She had a right to know the truth about everything, no matter how old she was. But how could they explain where babies came from without mentioning sex?

“I don't know,” Sam admitted, feeling terrible.

Gabriel's hand crawled over and patted Sam's arm in the dark, making tingles race up his spine.

“Don't worry, moose. We'll figure it out,” he promised.

Sam nodded against his pillow before nuzzling his nose into Jessica's sweet-smelling hair. He slowly let his eyes close as he breathed his daughter's precious scent and held her tiny body against his chest. His own exhaustion was catching up with him and he was falling asleep before he knew it; barely able to keep his thoughts together. The warmth and comfort of their soft blanket was gently lulling him to sleep and he couldn't stop it.

But just before he went completely unconscious, Sam felt Gabriel climb out of bed.

Chapter Text

Before the morning rays of sunlight even touched the curtains in the window, Sam was blinking his eyes open to see the motel room again. His daughter's tiny hand was tangled in his shaggy hair and she was unknowingly tugging him awake little by little. Jessica was sound asleep, cuddled against Sam's chest with her bunny lodged under her arm. As Sam's eyes focused, he noticed that Dickie was laying on top of her; tossed over her side like a protective blanket. The dog was snoring quietly – and still wearing that ridiculous bow tie collar. Sam stared down at the company in his bed and silently took inventory. Jess and Dickie were both there – but where was Gabriel?

Sam carefully raised his head to look around the quiet motel room for his archangel. Dean, Cas, and Jude were all piled up on the bed near the door. Dean and Jude were most likely asleep, and Cas was probably meditating or something because his eyes were closed. Sam's sight wandered all over the large room, searching the table, the floor, the dark bathroom, and the archway of the kitchen, but there was no sign of a shaggy blonde head or golden eyes. Sam looked back to the empty spot on the bed beside him and swallowed harshly. Where did Gabe go? What was he doing? And why did he leave without telling Sam?

“Gabe?” Sam prayed in a whisper.

For a moment, everything remained quiet and still. Somehow the dim room felt even darker and smaller without Gabriel in it. Sam was honestly beginning to worry about him – when the archangel appeared out of thin air at the foot of the bed. His sudden arrival made Sam to flinch in shock, which accidentally woke up Dickie. The man and the dog both turned their heads to look toward Gabriel, who was fully dressed and holding a few objects in his arms. The trickster smiled brightly as he glanced between the two of them.

“Mornin' guys,” he whispered, stepping away, “Sammy-boy, meet me in the kitchen.”

Sam wanted to ask Gabe where he had been and what on earth he was carrying, but by the time he found his voice, the archangel was already too far away. Sam laid there and watched Gabe disappear into the kitchen before looking back down at his daughter. Jess was still snoozing and tugging on her daddy's hair, holding onto him subconsciously, and he had to carefully pry her tiny hand away before he could get up. Thankfully, she only rolled over and snuggled up with her bunny to stay asleep. Sam gave her forehead a soft kiss before gently maneuvering out of bed. Dickie jumped into the floor and shook his head – straightening out the bow tie around his neck – before following Sam into the kitchen.

Gabriel was quietly bustling around near the refrigerator, arranging a bunch of things on the cleanest part of the counter. Sam yawned and scratched his head in the archway as he searched over Gabriel's work. There was a gigantic pad of paper propped up on a stand and a few plastic things that Sam couldn't quite identify. The man edged closer to his boyfriend in the kitchen, feeling more confused than ever.

“Gabe, what are you doing? Where have you been?” he asked.

“I've been getting answers, kiddo,” the archangel said without turning around, “Answers for our little Rabbit.”

“What are you talking about?” Sam whispered, feeling lost.

Gabriel took a step back from the counter and gestured forward to give Sam a clear view – of a plastic uterus and several pictures of embryos on the counter next to the giant notebook. It looked like Gabriel was getting ready to give a presentation on the reproductive system, and the thought made Sam realize -

“Oh my God,” he breathed, shooting Gabriel a look of shock, “You're going to tell Jessica where babies come from?!”

“You're damn right I am,” Gabriel grinned, “I planned it all out last night, moose. Even went and picked this stuff up from a clinic. This might be a pretty tough subject for her to understand, so I figured that visual aids might help.”

“Gabriel, she's three,” Sam reminded, voice hollow with disbelief.

“Yeah, but we both know she's more advanced than the average toddler, Sam. I mean, she got her intelligence from the smartest hunter in the world, after all,” Gabriel mentioned, tossing Sam a wink.

Sam could feel his own heart picking up speed. He knew his daughter was smart and he was proud of her for being so fond of learning. But he didn't like the idea of telling his sweet little bunny about fornication...

“But this is sex,” Sam pointed out, feeling terrified, “How the hell are we going to explain it to our little girl without traumatizing her? What if we mess up, Gabe? What if we tell her the wrong way and she ends up having nightmares about penises? Oh God, I can't handle penis nightmares!”

“Whoa, whoa, shhhh,” Gabriel soothed, dashing over to pat Sam's arm, “Take a breath, Sammy. Don't worry so much. I've got a plan, remember? I've been up all night figuring it out. I promise the only person that might have penis nightmares is me. Because I miss yours so much I'm starting to have withdraws,” he added with another wink.

Sam obeyed Gabriel's advice and took a few breaths as he looked back down at the make-shift presentation on the counter. None of this seemed very appropriate for little ears or eyes – but Gabriel had a point. Their baby bunny was smarter than most kids her age and she was always so hungry to know about everything. Jessica was bound to learn about baby-making sometime. He just didn't think it would be this soon...

“Alright,” Sam eventually mumbled, meeting Gabriel's honey eyes, “Just... Don't go into detail about the sex part, okay?”

“Trust me, kid. I'm going to explain it in a totally 'PG rated' way. Nothing graphic,” Gabe reassured.

“Thank you,” Sam sighed.

“By the way, I forgot to tell you good morning,” Gabriel purred.

The archangel hooked a hand around Sam's neck and pulled him down into a kiss. Sam's eyelids fluttered shut as he tasted Gabriel's sweet tongue again. He could tell that there was a subtle hint of lust hidden in the suction of Gabe's lips and the sensation made a flicker of arousal shoot straight to his own dick. Sam hummed as he carefully pulled away to look into Gabe's golden eyes.

“Were you planning to give Jessica a lecture, or are you going to turn it into 'show and tell'?” Sam whispered, arching a playful eyebrow.

“Don't tempt me, moosie. I'm already on the verge of dry-humping your leg like a dog,” Gabriel hissed back with a smirk.

Dickie gave a quiet bark from the floor, which caught Sam and Gabe's attention. The Jack Russell Terrier was clearly offended by Gabriel's rude comment because his tail had stopped wagging and his ears were down. Gabe huffed a dramatic breath as he stared down at his faithful companion.

“Oh, come on. You know you're a horn-dog, Dickster. Don't deny it,” the archangel grumbled.

On the floor, Dickie's tail slowly started to wag again. The little guy loved getting attention from his owner – almost as much as Sam did. While Gabriel and Sam gazed down at the handsomely dressed dog on the floor, the sound of a soft voice echoed from the main motel room.

Daddy?

Sam's heart nearly skipped a beat as he met Gabriel's eyes with equal anxiousness. Uh-oh. Their little girl was awake...

“Go get her and bring her in, Sammy,” Gabe whispered, sounding excited.

“What? Right now? Are you sure?” Sam squeaked, still worried.

Instead of replying, Gabriel just turned Sam around and shoved him back into the motel room, putting him directly in Jessica's view. Their daughter was sitting up in bed with her bunny cradled close, seeming confused about waking up alone. As soon as she saw her daddy, Jessie crawled toward the end of the bed and climbed off to get to him. Sam slowly knelt down and watched her come closer, feeling his own face drain of blood. Oh, man. He was so not ready to tell her where babies came from...

“H – Hey, Jess,” Sam whispered, smiling as he held his arms out.

Jessica softly collided with Sam's chest and let out a tiny yawn while he picked her up. Her body was so small; like a life-size baby doll compared to Sam's ridiculous height. Jessica may have been three, but she could easily pass for two. And her smallness only made Sam even less enthusiastic about bringing her into the kitchen.

“Where's Papa?” Jess asked, her voice so tiny and sweet.

“He's... here,” Sam said carefully.

The man swayed around with his baby girl for a second and simply admired how cute her blonde hair and little dimples were, before hesitantly inching his way back into the kitchen. Gabriel was standing by the counter of course, looking all too eager to start his presentation. His golden eyes lit up with playful energy when Jessie turned her head to look at him.

“There's my lil' Jessica-Rabbit,” Gabe hummed, reaching up to gently pluck her out of Sam's arms and shower her face with kisses, “How are you this morning, beautiful?”

Jessica was barely paying attention to her papa, because she was craning her neck over his shoulder to steal a peek at the stuff on the counter.

“What's that, Papa?” she asked.

Sam could feel his guts churning with discomfort. Ugh, he wasn't ready for this conversation. But it seemed like Gabriel was. The archangel gave Jess's cheek one last peck before stepping over to place her on a stool.

“That's all for you, sunshine,” he answered with a smile, “'Cause today, I'm gonna teach you about where babies come from.”

At first, it seemed like Jessica had forgotten all about asking the question from the night before. But her emerald-copper eyes slowly filled with realization and hopefulness as she glanced between her two fathers.

“Okay,” she said, sounding kind of excited.

“Okay,” Gabe repeated cheerfully.

The archangel raised up and stepped back to linger in front of the counter before reaching over to flip open the big notepad. There was a doodle of two stick people – a girl and a boy – on the first page; clearly drawn by Gabriel himself. Sam resisted the urge to cringe as he stepped over to prop himself up against the wall beside Jessica's stool. He could barely look down at his daughter out of sheer embarrassment.

“Well, there are two different ways to make a baby,” Gabe began, “There's the normal way, which is how most babies are made. And then there is the special way, which is how you were made.”

Jessica blinked up at her papa with large eyes, soaking in his every word and action. Sam stayed silent as Gabriel went on, waiting to see exactly how the archangel would explain this topic.

“The normal way starts out with a daddy and a mommy,” Gabriel continued, turning to point toward the terrible drawing on the paper, “You see, daddies have a, um, 'stick' on their bodies called a 'penis.' And mommies have a little 'pocket' called a 'vagina.'”

Sam's face flared so hot with heat that he had to cover it with his hand. Oh, God. Penis and vagina? Did Gabriel seriously have to say those words out loud? The discomfort made Sam want to to crawl out of his own skin...

“The 'stick' has seeds in it and the 'pocket' has an egg. And when a daddy and a mommy decide that they want to have a baby, the daddy puts their 'stick' inside the mommy's 'pocket' and they do a magic dance,” Gabriel explained.

He reached over to turn the page again, revealing another badly drawn cartoon. This time, it was of what looked like sperm swimming toward an egg.

“Then, the seeds – these little tadpoles things – swim out of the daddy's 'stick' and go into the 'pocket,' which leads to a place called a 'uterus' inside the mommy's body.”

Gabriel paused again to grab the big plastic uterus from the counter before kneeling down in front of Jessica's chair. He presented the fake body part to her and pointed toward the inside.

“The seeds swim all the way up one of these tubes until one of them finds the egg. Then, the egg and the seed fuse together and side down to stick to one of these walls. And then, a baby starts to grow inside the mommy's uterus. Like this,” Gabriel said.

He hopped up to exchange the fake uterus with the chart of embryos before kneeling back down to show it to Jessica. Their little girl drank in the sight of all the pictures, scanning the whole thing with curiosity while she hugged her stuffed bunny.

“See? The baby gets bigger and bigger,” Gabriel explained, pointing to various stages, “Then, when the baby is big enough, the mommy pushes it out through her 'pocket' and the baby is born... That's the normal way babies are made.”

Gabriel put the embryo chart on the floor before staring down at Jessica with a softer look. Even Sam could see that his golden eyes were twinkling with pride and joy.

“But you, Jessie-Rabbit, were made the special way,” he smiled, “You see, when Daddy put his seeds inside Papa, they didn't find an egg. They found his grace.”

Gabriel cupped his hands together in front of Jessica and they started to glow. Bright golden light shined from his palms, making Jess's eyes sparkle with amazement. She reached up to cling to his glowing thumbs with her tiny hands, seeming intrigued by the stunning color.

“You were made inside Papa's belly with this light. And it made you grow really fast,” Gabe went on with a smile, “Then, when you were ready, Daddy and uncle Cassie helped you come out. And now you're here.”

Sam felt a smile lift across his own face as he recalled Jessica's creation from his own memory. Gabriel was so cute when he was pregnant; so round and golden. The pregnancy and the birth were both extremely difficult, but holding Jessica for the first time was the proudest moment of Sam's entire life...

Once his presentation seemed to be over, Gabriel carefully let his grace fizzle out. The golden light disappeared from his hands and brought his full attention to Jess's face.

“Do you have any questions for me and Daddy?” he asked.

Jessica timidly glanced between Gabriel in front of her and Sam above her as she hugged her bunny again. Sam could see a hint of curiosity hidden in her eyes. She was definitely thinking of a question, but seemed afraid to ask it. Gabe and Sam wore comforting smiles and waited patiently for her to gain the courage to speak.

“... What's a mommy?” Jessica finally asked.

The sheer innocence and confusion in his daughter's voice made Sam's heart drop. What's a mommy? Did Jessica seriously not know what a mommy was? Sam instantly met eyes with Gabriel, where he saw the same surprise and utter disbelief. Somehow, hearing that question made Sam feel like a failure. Every single toddler in the world probably knew what the word 'mommy' meant, and it broke his heart to think that his daughter would be an exception. Would other children make fun of her for not having a mommy? Would she be an outcast because she wasn't raised like the rest of the world? Would Jessica have to grow up the same way her father and uncle did? Shunned and friendless just because she didn't have a mother?

Gabriel cleared his throat a little, obviously feeling some of the same terrible emotions that Sam was. But he played it off in classic trickster fashion. Gabe smiled warmly at their little girl before giving her an honest answer.

“A mommy is like a daddy, only she's a girl instead of a boy,” he mumbled kindly, “and most babies have both. But you're very lucky, honeydew. 'Cause you've got two daddies instead of one. And they both love you with all of their hearts.”

Sam watched a smile spread across his daughter's beautiful face as she slid forward to wrap both of her small arms around Gabriel's neck. Gabe circled his own arms around her torso and took the time to share another sad look with Sam while Jess couldn't see them. Sam really wished that he could say something that would make them both feel better, but what could be said? They always knew their angelic little girl would have to grow up differently than other children her age... But Sam never realized how much of an impact it would have on her, and how difficult it would be for them to answer such simple questions...


It took Dean almost half an hour to get dressed when he woke up.

Not because he took a shower or carefully picked out what to wear. No, those were the kind of luxuries he couldn't afford now that he was a parent. The reason it took him so long was because he had to climb out of bed, maneuver around a room full of junk, pick up a few toys along the way, actually find his duffel bag, and dig out a set of clothing that didn't smell horrible. Then came the ever-so-difficult task of trying to find a place to change. It seemed like the bathroom always had someone in it, so he had to wait on Sam, Jessica, and Jude to get finished before he could actually change. Needless to say, Dean was craving the comforts of his own room the whole time he was putting his clothes on.

But once he was dressed, Dean headed straight into the kitchen for coffee. The heavenly aroma of ground coffee beans was already thick in the air, so he naturally assumed that someone had made a pot. The older Winchester walked in to find the younger leaning against the counter with a steaming mug in his hand. There was a look on Sam's face that Dean had a hard time deciphering. The kid was just standing there like a statue with his lips tucked together and his eyes on the floor. Sammy looked vacant, like he was lost in his own head. Dean searched over his brother as he poured himself a cup of Joe, wondering what was wrong with him.

“Hey,” Dean mumbled, taking a small sip, “You okay?”

Sam seemed to snap out of a trance before glancing at Dean. The guy cleared his throat and gave a small shrug before stealing a drink from his own cup.

“We, uh... We told Jessica where babies come from this morning,” Sam mumbled.

Dean almost choked on his own coffee. He struggled to keep the hot liquid down as he raised his eyebrows in shock. Sam and Gabe told Jessica about the birds and the bees? Already? But she was only three! Sam must have seen the surprise on Dean's face, because he went on.

“She asked about it last night, so Gabriel explained it to her,” the kid breathed, “But after hearing about everything, do you know what she asked?”

“Uh... 'How did Daddy end up with an idiot like Papa'?” Dean replied sarcastically, trying to get Sam to smile.

But Sam didn't smile. His expression turned sadder and his eyes were filled with regret.

“No. She asked what a mommy was,” Sammy answered, sounding defeated, “It was like she had no idea that mothers existed. Like she thought that everyone had daddies and papas. Does – does that make us bad parents, Dean? Are our kids are too sheltered?”

“Too sheltered?” Dean repeated, finding it odd, “No, Sammy. Our kids are fine. Hell, I think they're more than fine, considering everything they've been through. I'm sure lots of same-sex couples get asked the same kind of question. You, me, Cas, Gabe – we're all Jude and Jess have ever known. Seems kinda fitting that they would find everyone else different.”

Sam leaned back against the counter and gave Dean a strange look. His eyes seemed full of surprise and admiration all of the sudden, like he thought it was weird that Dean would give such a genuine reply.

“What?” Dean asked.

“Nothing,” Sam said, letting a smile flicker on his mouth, “I... I guess you're right.”

“'Course I'm right,” Dean smirked, winking as he took another sip of bitter coffee, “So, what's the plan for today? Did you get Gabe to look at that paper Bobby gave us, yet?”

“Not yet,” Sam sighed, “We've been too busy with baby talk. I think we should all take a look at it together. Maybe we could take the kids to the park later and let them play while we figure it out. You know, let them hang out with norm -” Sam stopped himself and coughed, “I mean, other kids...”

Dean gave his brother a weary look. 'Normal' kids? Really?

“Normal is just a setting on the dryer, Sammy,” Dean muttered, standing up straight, “I need to make a quick trip to the gas station first. Baby's getting low on fuel and oil. What do you say we set up the park visit for two o'clock?”

“Sounds good,” Sam replied, “Be careful, Dean.”

“Always am,” Dean promised.

The older Winchester gave a slight wave to the younger before heading back out into the main part of the motel room. Cas, Gabe, Jessica, and Jude were all sitting at the cluttered table by the wall with Dickie nearby. Gabriel and Jude were leaning far across the table to watch Jessica, who was holding Cas's hand down in her lap. Dean stepped closer to see what was happening and realized that Jess was painting the poor guy's nails. Cas's entire left hand was covered in blue, pink, and green nail polish, and his right hand was currently being done in purple. The angel just sat there with his head tilted while his niece dolled him up.

“Is it supposed to feel sticky?” he asked, turning to look at Gabriel.

“Eh, it dries eventually,” Gabe replied, holding up his hand to wiggle his own colorful fingers.

Dean only shook his head and smiled. Apart from Cas and Gabriel, there probably weren't any other angels that would actually sit down and let a little girl paint their nails.

“Hold still, uncle Cassie,” Jessie requested.

“M – my apologies,” Cas replied, turning back around.

Dean noticed that while everyone else was staring at Jessica, Jude's eyes were on him. The little boy was watching his daddy come closer to the table, seeming to study his every move. It was like Jude already knew that Dean was planning to leave. Dean gave his son a tiny wink as he reached over to casually swipe the keys off the table.

“I've gotta go to the gas station real quick,” he announced, causing everyone to look at him, “Shouldn't take me very long -”

“Can I come, Daddy?” Jude interrupted.

Dean smiled again. He loved hearing the excitement in his child's voice, especially when it was for something as simple as just getting to hang out together for a ride in the Impala.

“Yep. Go and get your coat, son,” Dean replied.

While Jude dashed off with a happy smile, Cas shifted around in his seat to get up too – but Jessica wouldn't let go of his hand.

“No, Cassie! I gotta finish your nails,” she pleaded, sounding so sweet.

Cas glanced between Dean and their blonde niece, looking torn. The angel obviously wanted to ride with them to the gas station, but he was literally being held back with Jessica's highly persuasive puppy-dog stare. Dean lifted a hand and gave Cas reassuring look.

“It's okay, baby,” he breathed, pushing gently on Cas's shoulder to sit him back in the chair, “I'll be back in a few minutes.”

“Please, Dean... Please be careful,” Cas said, his blue eyes intense and full of seriousness.

“I will,” Dean replied.

Before Cas could get too caught up in his own worry, Dean leaned over to capture his open mouth. He gave his angel the kind of kiss that he usually gave him in private, with unrestrained tongue and sloppy lips. He curled his fingertips against the back of Cas's head too, tangling his hand in the angel's soft hair. By the time it was over, Jessica was giggling with a red face and Gabriel was tossing crayons at them and telling them to get a room. It was good enough to transform the concern in Cas's eyes into dopy bliss.

“I love you, Cas,” Dean breathed.

“I – I love you, too, Dean,” Cas stuttered.

After feeling Jude tug on the end of his jacket, Dean stood up and let his three-year-old tell Cas goodbye. Jude gave his papa's waist a quick hug and yanked on Dean's hand. Dean only had time to give Cas's shoulder one last squeeze before their son pulled him away. The kid was obviously excited to hit the road.

“Please pray if you need me,” Cas called.

Dean waved the rest of his family off as he followed his eager little boy outside. He smiled down at the top of Jude's head, watching the sunlight shine on his spiky chestnut hair. It was amazing how much of himself Dean could see in his son. The kid was always wanting to take a ride in the Impala, talk about superheroes, and eat pie. There was no denying that Jude was Dean's child.

“We're just going to get gas, Jude,” Dean reminded with a smile.

“I know,” Jude said happily.

The little guy opened the car door and climbed inside to get into his seat all by himself. Dean helped Jude strap in and gave his forehead a quick kiss before sitting down in the front seat to start the car. He reached up and adjusted the rear-view mirror so that he could see the smile on Jude's face behind him as he backed out of the parking lot. They were both quiet for a few minutes while Dean drove and he thought about turning on the radio. But before he even reached for the dial -

“Let's play the question game, Daddy,” Jude blurted.

Dean glanced at him in the mirror and smiled. Whenever they were on road trips or just laying around before bed, Dean and Cas always played the 'question game' with Jude. One person would say two things and the other person would have to pick their favorite of the two. Dean quickly tried to think of a pair of things as he stared at the road in front of him.

“Okay. Uh... Red or blue?” he asked.

“Blue,” Jude replied instantly.

Dean silently agreed with his son's answer, mostly because he could see Jude's blue eyes in the mirror. The man glanced around as he drove, trying to think of more things.

“Cars or trucks?” Dean asked.

“Um... both?” Jude answered carefully.

Dean gave a chuckle and nodded. That was a pretty good answer. When it came to vehicles, anything that could run was a good option – apart from the Impala, of course. Baby always came first. Dean glanced around to get more ideas for another question and noticed one of Jude's blankets laying across the backseat. It was covered in superheroes, but two of the logos caught Dean's immediate attention.

“Batman or Superman?” he asked.

Dean eyed his son in the mirror, watching him smile brightly.

“Superman!” Jude rejoiced.

Genuine surprise flashed across Dean's face. Superman? Really? Dean wasn't expecting to hear that answer. He honestly thought that Jude was going to say Batman, because whenever they talked about superheroes, Batman always came up. Plus, Jude tended to choose things that Dean liked because they were so similar. But Superman? Superman was a total nerd compared to Batman...

“You – you like Superman better than Batman?” Dean asked, wanting to make sure that he heard it correctly.

“Uh-huh,” Jude nodded.

“Why?” Dean asked, curious.

“'Cause Superman can fly,” Jude answered, briefly meeting Dean's eyes in the mirror.

A new smile slowly spread across Dean's lips as glanced between the road in front of him and his son in the backseat. Somehow, that answer made perfect sense. Of course Jude would like a superhero that could fly. It probably reminded him of his Papa Cas. But didn't Jude realize that he had the ability to do the same thing? That he could fly, just like Superman?

“Jude, buddy,” Dean said softly, giving his child a gentle smile, “You can fly, too.”

Even though Dean's words were meant to be comforting, the happiness fled Jude's face and his sapphire eyes flickered downward. He fiddled with the straps on his car seat and kicked his little feet, seeming too shy to look back up.

“... but Superman's not scared to fly,” Jude mumbled under his breath.

Dean's heart ached painfully behind his ribs. There was nothing he hated more than hearing that tiny hint of fear in his son's voice. He wished that he could help Jude somehow; that he could say or do something that would making flying less scary for him. But he couldn't. Cas wasn't even able to convince Jude that flying was okay. How could Dean possibly do what an angel couldn't? Instead of pressuring Jude to keep talking about it, Dean shifted his toddler's attention back to something happier.

“Maybe its because Superman wears his underwear on the outside,” Dean mentioned, giving a subtle wink.

Jude giggled a little at Dean's suggestion, thankfully regaining his smile. It only took them a few more minutes to get to the gas station. Dean pulled into the lot and guided the Impala to a pump before shutting her off. Afterward, he got out and stepped to the back to help Jude unbuckle his car seat. Dean scooped his child up and gave him a tiny kiss as he started for the convenience store to pay. While he walked, Dean noticed that there weren't any other cars in the parking lot. For a moment, he thought that the store might be closed. But he caught sight of a person standing at the counter inside, so he kept going.

The small store was playing Christmas music on the radio when Dean walked in. The hunter took note that there was one person behind the counter and another roaming the aisles. It was in his nature to be aware of his surroundings at all times. Jude, on the other hand, seemed more interested in the food display than he did in anything else.

“Look, Daddy,” he said, pointing toward it, “Jessie likes apples. Can we get her one?”

As Dean moved closer to the barrels of fruit with his son in his arms, the hairs on the back of his neck slowly stood up. A familiar chill inched down his spine, one that he knew all too well. It felt like there were eyes on his back; like someone was watching him – and moving closer.

Just as Dean turned around to confront whatever was behind him, he felt a wire wrap around his neck.

The man instantly slid his toddler to the floor and raised both hands up to his throat. Someone was behind him, trying to choke him with a thin metal wire. Dean's airway was cutoff and he couldn't breathe, so his instincts took over. He quickly dug both of his thumbs under the wire to keep it from slicing into his skin as he tried to fight the person off. In the meantime, Dean caught a glimpse of Jude kneeling near the barrels of fruit with a pale face. The poor kid just crouched there with a hand over his mouth, looking paralyzed with shock. Dean wanted to tell Jude to run; to flee, to fly. But he couldn't even suck in enough air to breathe.

Though his vision was already starting to blur, Dean forced himself to lunge backward; smashing his captor against the counter. The guy let out a loud shout – filling the air with the smell of sulfur and brimstone – before wrestling Dean to the floor. The two of them landed on their sides and the wire tightened even more around Dean's neck; digging into the flesh on his fingers. Dean stared sideways at his son as he tried to gasp for breath. Dammit! Why wouldn't Jude fly away?! Dean knew that if he let go of the wire, it would slice all the way through his neck like a thin blade. The person behind him was obviously trying to kill him.

While Dean fought with the person on the floor, he caught sight of someone else rounding the aisle behind Jude. The man was walking up to the toddler with a scowl on his face – and his eyes were jet black. The terrifying sight of a demon coming near his child made Dean's body react without him. The hunter let go of the wire, letting it partially slice into his neck, so that he could retrieve the gun from his waist band. Dean instantly unloaded his pistol on the demon behind Jude, filling the store with loud gunfire and making the creature stumble back into the glass beer case. Afterward, he pointed the gun directly behind him and shot his captor, causing them to finally let go.

Once the wire was freed from his neck, Dean sucked in a huge gasp of air and rolled away. The man with the wire – another demon – was the same man that had been behind the counter. Dean quickly dug the demon knife out of his pocket and stabbed him in the chest, making the life flicker out of his body. Afterward, Dean spun around to see that the other demon was trying to climb out of the beer case. The hunter instantly ripped the knife out of the corpse in front of him and threw it at the demon behind him; burying the sharp end directly in his stomach. The creature only had time to let out a single yelp before it fell back inside the broken glass, limp and lifeless.

Dean instantly scanned the store for more demons as he panted and crawled toward his son. Jude was covering his ears with both hands and holding his head between his knees. The kid was squeezing his eyes shut and visibly trembling, shaking so hard that his spiky hair was moving. Dean could feel warm blood running down his own neck but he didn't want Jude to see it, so he slapped one hand over his wound before reaching out to touch his child with the other.

“Jude,” Dean breathed, voice hoarse.

The moment Jude raised his head and looked up to find Dean, tears swelled in his blue eyes. He let out a loud sob and fell apart, letting himself cry like any toddler would. Dean scooped up his sobbing child with one hand and held him close to his chest, wanting to shield him from the destruction. But it was too late. For the first time ever, Jude had witnessed his father kill someone. And the sound of his tears made Dean feel like total shit. He slumped against the barrels side them and tried to gulp down his own emotions as he felt his son trembling in his arms.

“Cas,” Dean prayed over the sound of their child's sobs.

It only took one call of Cas's name for the angel to appear. He popped inside the store by the entrance – and his blue eyes instantly filled with shock. Cas flew over to the floor where Dean was sitting and knelt down, dismissing the dead demons and broken glass on the floor.

“Dean, what happened? Is he hurt? Are you hurt?” the angel breathed, his eyes radiating worry.

As soon as he heard Cas's voice, Jude leaped out of Dean's arms. The toddler instantly scrambled for Cas, reaching up to hook both arms around the angel's neck and hug him tight. Cas gently cradled their terrified son against him but his eyes remain locked on Dean, wanting answers.

“They... attacked me,” Dean croaked over Jude's loud sobs, still holding pressure to his bleeding neck, “I had to... I had to kill them, Cas. They... were going after him.”

Without saying a word, Cas reached up to remove Dean's hand from his throat. Dean flinched as his wound was being revealed, knowing that it probably looked terrible. Cas placed his own hand over it and shined a light, healing the deep cut with his grace. The blood disappeared and the wound closed almost instantly. Dean coughed and sat up afterward, feeling more concerned about Jude than anything.

But when Dean reached out to touch his son's back, Jude flinched away and buried his face into the collar of Cas's coat. He refused to even look at his father's face, and the thought made Dean cringe. Jude wasn't just afraid of the demons...

He was afraid of Dean, too.

Chapter Text

Dean raised up the false bottom of the trunk and tossed his pistol inside without even looking at it. For the first time in his adult life, Dean didn't want to be around any weapons. The sight of blades and bullets made him feel sick. Dean didn't want to be the one holding a gun. Not if it made his son afraid of him...

“You did what you had to do, Dean,” Sam mumbled.

Although his brother's tone was light and comforting, the words didn't make Dean feel any better. The older Winchester slammed the trunk closed and turned to look up at Sammy, who was standing in the motel parking lot with him. Dean wished that he could explain how he was feeling – how absolutely disgusted he was with himself for murdering two people in front of his small child – but he couldn't possibly put the sheer magnitude of horribleness into a statement.

“Doesn't matter,” Dean spat, shaking his head, “Jude is terrified of me, Sam.”

“But he's safe,” Sam reminded, “Those demons would have hurt him pretty bad if you didn't stop them.”

Dean nodded. He agreed with his brother. Dean couldn't stand the thought of his son being hurt in anyway by anyone, especially soulless demons. But did that give him the right to kill in front of his child? Jude was probably going to be scarred for life; forced to look at his father in a different way. Dean was already starting to miss the admiring stare he always got from Jude's baby-blue eyes.

“Why did they attack you anyway?” Sam questioned softly, “Do you think it has something to do with Bobby wanting to open a portal to hell?”

“I don't know,” Dean breathed, feeling sick, “All I know is that my son hates me.”

Sam let out a long sigh before stepping over to place his hand on Dean's shoulder. The tall man gave his brother a warm look of support.

“Jude doesn't hate you, Dean. He just got scared. He's never been in that kind of situation before. He probably just needs some time to calm down,” Sam explained.

Dean nodded again, even though he didn't feel very affected by his brother's words. It had been almost an hour since the gas station shooting. The convenience store was destroyed and full of bodies, so abandoning it was the best option. Dean left some money on the counter – as a way of trying to show his son that he wasn't such a bad guy – before gassing up the Impala so they could drive back. But Jude wasn't watching his daddy at all. The kid was still crying into Cas's coat collar, refusing to look up.

Now, they were all back at the motel and Cas was still trying to console their child. Dean rounded the Impala and stepped up to look inside the window of the room. Between the curtains, he could see Cas sitting in the chair by the wall. Jude had burrowed himself inside the angel's trench coat and Cas was gently cradling their son against his chest, rubbing slow circles against Jude's tiny back and resting his cheek on top of Jude's small head. Dean watched the two of them from the other side of the glass, feeling another wave of disgust swirl in his stomach. Shit. What if Cas was upset with him, too? What if the angel was mad at him for traumatizing their child?

“Go talk to them.”

Dean glanced up at his little brother, who was still wearing a look of comfort. Sammy stepped back, opened the motel door, and gestured inside, almost commanding Dean to go in and speak to his family. Although his heart felt heavy with guilt, Dean forced his feet to shuffle to the entrance of the motel room. Sam was right. He needed to clear the air and somehow make things better.

As he walked into the room, Dean immediately noticed how quiet it was. Gabriel was in the kitchen, Jessica was coloring silently at the table, and Cas and Jude were in the chair near the corner. The Winchesters' usually busy and energetic environment was now still and muted, and the difference made Dean feel worse. His heart ached fiercely when he turned to study his dark-haired angel and their son. Jude was wrapped snugly inside Cas's coat and clinging to his little stuffed bee. The three-year-old was sucking on his index and middle fingers, too – something he used to do when he was a baby. And Cas was softly humming the tune of 'Hey Jude' in his ear as he rubbed his back. Watching Cas console their son actually made Dean feel a little better. Cas was always able to sooth Dean's nerves. It was only natural that he was able to do it for their child, too.

When Dean carefully approached the chair, Cas's head raised up and the two of them met eyes. Dean was expecting to see anger and disapproval on his angel's face – but instead, Cas gave him a gentle smile. It was full of understanding and encouragement, as if Cas was visibly saying, 'It's okay, Dean. Please come closer.' Dean was grateful to know that none of the affection had been lost between him and the person he loved the most. The man stepped closer instantly, hoping to get the same kind of reaction from their son.

Jude eventually caught sight of a shadow moving closer and he raised his head to see who was there. But when he looked up and saw Dean, Jude's blue eyes widened with distress. The kid immediately started to wiggle out of Cas's arms, pushing against the angel's hold to slide out of his coat. When Jude's boots hit the floor, he hugged his stuffed bee and quickly walked away, going over to sit at the table in front of Jessica. Warm tears pooled in Dean's eyes, blurring his sight and making a large lump form in his throat. There were a lot of times in Dean's life when he felt like a monster. But this? Seeing his own son flee from him in terror? This definitely took the cake...

A gentle hand snaked its way up Dean's back and he turned his head to see Cas standing next to him. The angel was wearing a compassionate look on his face, but Dean still felt guilty; felt responsible.

“I'm sorry, Cas,” Dean almost whispered, searching his blue eyes, “I didn't mean for this to happen -”

“There is no reason for you to apologize, Dean,” the angel interrupted, letting his hand slide all the way up to cup Dean's cheek, “It wasn't your fault. In fact, if it had not been for your instinctual actions, Jude may have been in grave danger. I'm very thankful for your hunting reflexes. It kept both of you alive.”

“Yeah, but he's afraid of me,” Dean pointed out, “Me, Cas. I'm his daddy. I make him smile, and play with him, and kiss him goodnight. I love him more than life itself and he... he can't even look at me anymore.”

Cas took a deep breath and exhaled slowly as he traced Dean's bottom lip with the edge of this thumb. His blue eyes briefly glanced toward Jude at the table before returning to Dean's stare with wisdom.

“Jude still loves you, Dean. He has loved you from the moment he was conceived,” the angel whispered, sounding serious, “If you talk to him, he will listen. All you have to do is speak.”

Dean searched Cas's face for a second, letting the words reverberate through his mind like a plucked harp string. He was glad to hear that his son still loved him and talking to Jude sounded easy enough. But would the little guy even let Dean come near enough to speak? Cas must have seen the hesitation in Dean's eyes because he leaned over to peck his lips with a quick kiss of encouragement.

“Go,” Cas nudged, “Comfort our son and let him know that everything is alright. Jude needs to hear you, Dean. Your voice is his greatest sedative.”

Dean gulped hard, trying to swallow the strange blockage in his throat. Damn, Cas always knew just what to say... With a sense of new-found confidence, Dean reached up and gave Cas's hand a squeeze before starting toward their son. Jude and Jessica were sitting on opposite sides of the table, doing separate things. Jessica was still using a few crayons to color happily on a piece of paper, and Jude was holding his stuffed bee in one hand and his tiny superman action figure in the other, looking down at his lap. Thankfully, he didn't notice Dean walk up to the table.

Dean stopped and knelt by his niece's chair first. Jessica's crayon paused on the paper and she turned to look up at her uncle with confusion and question, probably wondering why he was being so sneaky. Whenever Dean looked at Jessica, he couldn't help but be reminded of Sam as a child. And this time was no different.

“Hey, Jess,” Dean whispered, looking into Sammy's eyes and giving her the best smile he could muster, “I, uh... I need to talk to Jude for a minute. Do you think you can go and help your papa in the kitchen until we're done?”

Even though she was slightly confused, Jessica nodded her blonde head and put her crayon down. Dean gave her a small hug and whispered 'thank you' as she slid out of her seat. While Jessica scurried to the kitchen, Dean finally turned his attention to his son.

Jude's head was low, his wet eyes were directed toward his lap, his little nose was red, and his cheeks were puffy from where he had been crying so hard. Seeing the aftermath of his son's anxiety rested in Dean's heart like a heavy rock. The man very carefully eased closer to his child, kneeling down on the floor so that he could look up at Jude. Dean noticed that the closer he came, the more Jude's head lowered down. The kid obviously didn't want to talk or look up, but Dean needed to speak anyway. Sam and Cas were right. Dean needed to explain his actions to his child.

“Jude,” Dean began in a warm, low voice, “Daddy... Daddy is very sorry about what happened in the gas station.”

Jude didn't reply of course. He only stared down at his Superman figurine and hugged his bee. Dean searched over his son's small form and struggled for words. How could he possibly explain himself? How could he justify killing two demons – two people – to an innocent three-year-old without sounding evil? For a second, Dean silently looked around, hoping to find some answers. What he found instead were more of Jude's action figures lined up on the table. Thor, Captain America, and Batman were propped up in cool poses. The sight of them all in their shiny plastic costumes reminded Dean of his and Jude's earlier conversation about superheros... and somehow gave Dean the answer he was looking for.

“I don't know if you know this, son, but my favorite Superhero is Batman,” Dean stated quietly.

Dean reached over, picked up the Batman action figure from the table, and brought it down to look at it properly. The thing was tiny; small enough to fit in the palm of Dean's hand. But his logo was still perfectly visible. Dean noticed that Jude's head had tilted up a bit, so he kept talking.

“I like Batman because he has cool gadgets. And a nice black suit. And a really awesome car,” Dean mentioned, glancing up to give his son a small smile, “But do you know what I like the most about him, Jude?”

Jude stole a single timid glance at Dean before shaking his head. He was listening, just like Cas said he would. Dean held up the toy in his hand so that Jude could see it better, hoping to help him understand.

“Batman doesn't like hurting people,” Dean eventually said, “He always tries to get the bad guys without using violence. Without using guns. Batman doesn't like killing other people, even the villains... But, sometimes... Sometimes he doesn't have a choice. There are times when Batman has to use a gun, even when he doesn't want to.”

Jude's head raised up and he finally met Dean's stare with curiosity. As soon as he saw those pretty blue eyes, Dean's heart felt whole again.

“Why?” Jude asked, his voice tiny and hoarse.

“Because if something really bad happened – if someone was going to hurt Superman, and the only way Batman could save him was to use a gun – then, he would do it. Because he would do anything to keep Superman safe,” Dean explained.

He carefully reached over and took Jude's tiny hand, letting the plastic Batman and Superman slide together in their palms. The man made sure he had his child's full attention before he said his next words.

“Jude, I might not be a superhero. But I do try really hard to save other people,” Dean admitted, “Me and your uncle Sam, we – we try to help as many people as we can. But sometimes it's hard to catch all the bad guys, so we have to use guns... Today, at the gas station, Daddy didn't mean to scare you with the gun. I was just trying to keep you safe from the bad guys that attacked us. Because I love you so much that I will do anything to keep you safe. Just like Batman.”

It seemed like Dean's explanation was actually resonating with Jude, because the little guy was staring at his father with innocent wonder. He carefully loosened his grip on his stuffed bee so that he could hold onto Dean's hand with both of his own.

“I love you too, Daddy,” Jude said, his voice so tiny and sweet.

Dean's heart thumped hard behind his ribs, forcing warm emotion through his veins. Hearing those words come straight from Jude's mouth made Dean feel redeemed, like he was finally forgiven. Fresh tears of relief were trying to swell in Dean's eyes as he carefully reached out to wrap Jude into a hug. He picked the little kid up, toys and all, and raised back to his feet. For a moment, they just held onto each other and breathed, letting their father-son bond mend itself in the silence. Dean never wanted to let his kid go. He wanted to keep holding Jude forever; to stay affected by the strong emotion pumping from his heart until the end of time.

“Daddy?” Jude muttered without raising his head.

“Yeah?” Dean replied.

“You'd make a good Batman,” the little guy whispered.

A single warm tear slipped from the corner of Dean's eye as he tightened his grip on his child.

“Thank you, son,” he whispered back.


After hearing about what happened in the gas station, Sam thought that his timid nephew would be a little hesitant to go back out into public again and that Dean would want to postpone the trip to the park until another day. But after Dean and Jude had a small heart-to-heart, Dean explained to Sam that playing with Jessica on the playground might actually make Jude feel better, so he suggested going ahead with it. Gabriel was extra glad to hear that the trip was still on, because he had spent all afternoon preparing a large picnic lunch for everyone that primarily consisted of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Sam made sure to bundle Jessica up in her thickest coat and warmest beanie – both in rainbow colors, which were her favorite – before helping her get into her car seat. It must have been close to her nap time, because she kept yawning as everybody loaded up in the Impala. Sam kissed her forehead and stole a small kiss from Gabriel before resuming his usual seat in the front. The nearest park was only twenty minutes away, but with Dean's driving it only took fifteen minutes to get there. The playground itself was almost completely empty, given that it was fifty-five degrees outside in late November. But Sam was rather glad that there were only a few other people around. Privacy was hard to come by in the Winchester's lives and he took it whenever he could get it.

When the Impala rolled to a stop, Dean, Cas, and Sam climbed out while Gabriel lingered back with Dickie to help the toddlers unbuckle their seat belts. As Sam suspected, Jessica had fallen asleep on the way to the park. Her head was propped against her car seat, her blonde curls were draped across her closed eyes, and her mouth was slightly open. Gabriel was busy helping Jude out of his seat, so Sam decided to be the one to wake up their little girl.

But as Sam bent over to wake Jess, he noticed that moisture was glistening just beneath her closed eyelids. Her blonde eyelashes were becoming wet with tears and she was whimpering; starting to cry in her sleep. Sam's parental worry spiked. What was wrong? Was she having a nightmare? Oh God, was she having a bad dream about penises like Sam was afraid of? It seemed like Dickie knew that something was wrong too, because the little dog was pawing gently at Jessica's knee. Sam reached in and gently shook her tiny shoulder.

“Jessie,” he whispered, “Jessica.”

It took a few moments, but Sam's daughter eventually opened her eyes. She awoke with a start and lifted her head, spinning around in her car seat in search of something. When she caught sight of Sam, she reached out for him with both hands to grab hold his jacket.

“Daddy,” she whimpered, beautiful eyes filling up with tears, “D – Don't let them take me away!”

“Whoa, shhh,” Sam consoled, brushing Jess's blonde hair back to wipe her face, “It's okay, baby Rabbit. Did you have a bad dream? Who was trying to take you away?”

Jessica blinked a few stray tears away as she tried to find her voice. Gabriel must have heard her cry, because he leaned back into the Impala with a worried expression. He took one look at their sobbing daughter and flew himself back into the seat beside her and Dickie.

“What happened, buttercup?” Gabriel asked.

“The people tried to take me away. But I didn't want to go,” Jessica answered.

“People? What did the people look like, Jess?” Sam asked, using the softest voice he could muster.

“It was dark, like – like nighttime... and... and they had mean faces... they're scary, Papa,” she sobbed, reaching over to grab the front of Gabriel's shirt, “Please don't let them take me!”

“Nobody is going to take you away from us, sunshine,” Gabriel promised, leaning over to stamp a kiss to her forehead, “Did this happen while you were asleep? Did you see them in your mind?”

Jessica nodded fiercely, looking genuinely afraid. Gabriel straightened up her rainbow hat and adjusted her curls as he spoke his next words.

“Well, Papa's gonna teach you a little trick, okay?” the archangel said, giving her a wink and a smile, “The next time you have a bad dream and you see those scary people again, all you have to do is snap your fingers like Papa does. Then, your grace will turn those mean people into sparkly glitter.”

Jessica's frown slowly faded away and she blinked up at Gabriel in wonder.

“Really?” she asked, sounding impressed.

“Yep. Just snap your fingers and – poof! Pretty glitter everywhere!” Gabriel smiled enthusiastically.

Jessica actually gave a tiny giggle at her papa's dramatic instructions. Sam was glad that Gabe was able to make her feel better, but his method sounded a little dangerous. Turning people into glitter? Sure, it would probably be okay to do in a dream. But what if Jessica got scared in real life? What if she decided to use her grace on a real person?

Sam felt something brush against his leg and looked down to see Jude trying to climb inside the car. The blue-eyed toddler reached up and tugged on Jessica's arm, wearing a large smile.

“Look, Jessie!” he exclaimed, pointing to the playground behind him, “There's swings and slides!”

Jessica almost gasped in surprise as she leaned forward to see all of the large playground equipment. She had obviously forgotten that they we going to the park, but now that she could see all the nearby swings, she was wide awake and excited again.

“Come on! Let's go play!” Jude urged excitedly, already starting to dash away.

Jessica instantly began climbing out of her car seat, scrambling to follow her cousin toward the playground with Dickie, who was already prancing away in his formal attire. Sam stepped out of the way so that Jess could join Jude, but made sure to give the top of her head a protective kiss as she raced by.

“Slow down, you guys,” Dean called from the back of the Impala, “Remember the buddy system. Don't let each other out of sight.”

Jude slowed down to take Jessica's hand before leading her the rest of the way to the swings. Sam watched Dickie and the two toddlers play for a second as Gabriel got out of the car to stand next to him.

“Is it normal for her to have nightmares, Gabe?” Sam asked.

He was worried that the bad dream about scary people was going to have an affect on their daughter. Gabriel turned to give Sam a look of bewilderment, scrunching his eyebrows and blinking once as he stepped over to help Dean and Cas get stuff out of the trunk.

“I guess so. I mean, she's a kid, moose. Kids have nightmares sometimes, don't they?” he replied.

“Yeah, but she's half archangel. I figured that her grace would counteract bad dreams or something,” Sam explained, shaking his head, “Speaking of grace, do you think it's okay to tell her to 'snap' people into glitter? That seems a little too... I don't know...”

“Trickster-like?” Gabriel finished, wearing a grin.

Sam sighed and forced a nod. 'Dangerous' was the word he was going for, but 'Trickster-like' was definitely a close second. Gabriel took a large breath as he picked up a wrapped tray of sandwiches and walked it over to a nearby picnic table.

“I think our little bunny can tell the difference between being asleep and being awake, Sammy-boy,” the archangel said, “and I'm sure she'll only do it if she has another nightmare.”

“How do you know?” Sam pressed, still unsure.

“Because she's also half Winchester,” Gabriel reminded, tossing Sam another smile, “and if there's one thing I know about Winchesters, it's that they're smart enough to know when to pick their battles.”

“Damn right,” Dean added from across the table, raising his bottle of water with a grin.

Sam let out another sigh at his brother's input before turning to look toward the swing set behind them. Jude and Jessica were swaying around and bumping together on separate swings, both giggling while Dickie danced around them and barked. Sam didn't like the thought of his precious baby girl using her grace to do bizarre and dangerous things, but maybe Gabe had a point. Jessica was smart; smarter than any three-year-old Sam had ever met. Maybe she would know when and how to use her grace wisely...

“Alright. Who wants to take the first crack at these Hieroglyphs?” Dean asked, waving Bobby's piece of paper around.

Sam carefully slid out of his jacket and tossed it on the wooden table before looking at everyone else. It was hotter outside than he thought it was going to be, so he needed to lose a few layers to concentrate. He figured that the angels would want to look at the bizarre script first, seeing as they were millenniums old and would know almost any language. But Cas sat down backward on the picnic bench and fixed his sight on Jude and Jessica a few feet away.

“I will watch over the children,” he volunteered, not even blinking, “Gabriel is better suited for translating written language anyway.”

Sam tugged a few of the top buttons of his flannel shirt loose as he turned to look at Gabe. The archangel was standing next to the table holding a few juice boxes, but he appeared intensely serious all of the sudden. It seemed like something important had just popped into his mind because his eyes flickered all over Sam's front with urgency.

“Uh... Right. I'll get to that in a minute,” Gabriel mumbled, carefully placing the juice boxes, “but first, I need to talk to Sam in private.”

Sam gave his archangel a strange look. Private? What in the world did they need to talk about in private? Was it about Bobby's paper? Was it about Jessica and her nightmares? Dean rolled his eyes but waved a dismissing hand in Gabriel's direction.

“Fine. Whatever. Just make it quick,” the older Winchester grumbled.

Gabriel instantly grabbed Sam's large hand and started away, pulling the tall man around the Impala and toward the restrooms. Even though he stumbled along with Gabriel's hold, Sam felt thoroughly confused. He gave a polite smile to a few other park-goers as they passed by, hoping that Gabe's urgent behavior didn't seem too weird. The two of them eventually circled around to the back of the small restroom building, where Gabe finally slowed to a stop and faced him.

“What is it, Gabe?” Sam asked, “Why are we -”

His sentence cut short when he was yanked down into a sudden kiss. Gabriel's sweet tongue swam inside Sam's mouth and almost choked him; muting his voice. Sammy blinked several times as he stumbled back against the brick building in shock. What the hell? Why was Gabe kissing him like a porn star? And why were the trickster's hands slowly crawling underneath Sam's shirt? Once he heard the soft 'mmm' vibrate from Gabriel's throat, the answers to Sam's unasked questions seemed to hit him like a ton of bricks... Gabriel didn't want to talk. He wanted to get frisky.

Sam couldn't deny that he deeply enjoyed making out with his boyfriend, of course. He loved kissing and groping Gabriel whenever he got the chance. But they were in a public park right now! In broad daylight! And their little girl was playing nearby! Sam carefully shook his head free to take a deep breath and raise an eyebrow.

“G – Gabe, we can't do this now,” Sam protested, able to hear the desperation hidden in his own voice.

“We have to! I can't take it anymore, kiddo,” Gabriel hissed back, still running his hands across Sam's bare chest beneath his shirt, “Seeing you take your jacket off is like watching a Christmas present unwrap itself. You can't tease me like that, moose! My poor sex-starved body can't handle it!”

Sam gulped, feeling his own dick twitch between his legs. Shit, Gabe's hands were so soft. They were rubbing against his tight abs and hard nipples, making it difficult for Sam to focus on anything else. He couldn't possibly fight his own urge much longer.

“But... but we're in public,” Sam pointed out, barely able to keep his thoughts coherent.

“I'll fly us somewhere else then,” Gabriel suggested.

No,” Sam breathed, “No, I – I don't want to leave Jessica. She just had a nightmare. She might need us.”

“Well, then, let's do it in this bathroom,” Gabriel compromised, nodding toward the building at Sam's back, “Come on, Sammy-boy, please? Just one quickie? It'll only take five minutes, tops...”

Sam whimpered a little bit as he glanced up at the trees behind Gabriel. The possibility of sex actually made him secretly excited. He was just as desperate to have an orgasm as Gabe was. Even though he knew that having fast animal sex in a public restroom was inappropriate and kind of gross, Sam nodded feverishly.

“Okay,” he breathed, “Five minutes.”

Gabriel snapped his fingers and the two of them instantly popped inside the restroom. The small brick building consisted of one toilet, one sink, and a single door. Sam was very thankful that no one was inside, because the second they were alone, Gabriel practically threw himself onto Sam. The man caught the archangel in his arms and immediately returned their lips together. Quiet moans and panting breaths were exchanged between them as they tugged each others' shirts off.

Finally,” Gabriel huffed, forcing Sam's bare back up against the wall, “It feels like it's been centuries since I last saw those muscles.”

Sam quickly smashed their mouths together again before spinning around to press Gabriel flat to the wall. He usually enjoyed hearing Gabriel's flirty comments during sex, but they didn't have time for talking now. Blood was gushing towards Sam's crotch, making his dick hard enough to bulge against his tight jeans. He really hoped that Gabriel was ready to go, because he didn't know how long he would be able to last. Sam's hand slipped down between them to grab a handful of Gabriel's crotch and squeeze the fabric, making the archangel groan loudly.

Ahh!” he cried, tossing his blonde head back, “Holy shit! Yes!”

Shhhh,” Sam hissed, slapping his free hand over Gabe's mouth, “Someone might hear you!”

Sam kept his hand over Gabriel's lips as he swooped down to bring his own mouth to the archangel's neck. He groped Gabe's crotch with his other hand as he sucked on the trickster's throat. God, Gabriel's body always tasted so sweet; like cotton candy mixed with powdered sugar. Gabriel groaned loudly beneath Sam's hand as the man molested him in the bathroom, seeming to enjoy every second.

The tiny squeak of the door echoed through the bathroom.

Sam instantly lifted his head from Gabriel's body to look across the room – where he saw his three-year-old nephew standing in the doorway. Blood drained from Sam's face as he stared at Jude in horror. Oh, shit! Sam's hands were still clamped on Gabe's mouth and crotch. Jude's blue eyes were fully focused on his two uncles, who were standing half naked in an inappropriate pose. Oh God, no! Jude was seeing everything! Shit!

Before Sam could find his voice, Jude was gone. The kid let go of the door and dashed away, probably running off to tell his fathers about what he just saw. In the meantime, Sam was momentarily frozen in shock. He couldn't believe that he and Gabriel had just been caught trying to have a quickie! As soon as he regained his motor function, Sam let go of Gabriel and started to run for the door. He didn't want the poor kid to be scarred for life.

“Jude! Wait,” Sam called, sprinting outside, “Come back!”

The chill of November stung Sam's bare chest as he and Gabriel raced to catch up to their nephew. The man could feel that his pants were unbuttoned, because they were slipping down as they ran. Sammy held onto the top of his jeans as he passed by a few of the other park-goers, who were watching him and Gabriel in surprise. Sam's cheeks were warm with embarrassment when he saw Jude again. The little boy had made it all the way back to the picnic table, where Dean, Cas, Jessica, and Dickie were all sitting and eating. Sam was out of breath by the time he made it to the table with Gabriel, but it was too late. Jude was already tugging on Dean's jacket and talking fast.

“Uncle Sammy hurt uncle Gabe,” Jude said, sounding worried, “I saw it in the bathroom, Daddy!”

“What?” Dean asked.

“Uncle Sammy hurt uncle Gabe,” Jude said again, “He hurt him! He bit him and made him cry! I saw it!”

Dean and Cas's eyes raised up from their son to look at Sam and Gabriel, who were both still shirtless and out of breath as they approached. Sam could see a mixture of bewilderment and disappointment on his older brother's face. Cas's eyes only narrowed in suspicion. But Jessica, who heard the honest distress in Jude's voice, immediately hopped off the bench in terror. She ran over to hug Gabriel's leg, seeming scared and defensive.

“No, Daddy! Don't hurt Papa!” she begged, her emerald-copper eyes large and pleading.

“N – No, Jess. I wasn't hurting Papa,” Sam tried to explain, briefly meet eyes with Gabriel, “We were... we were just...”

“Playing a game,” Gabriel finished, slowly kneeling down to her level, “A, um, a grown-up game. Nobody got hurt, baby bunny. I promise.”

“A game?” Jude asked, sounding unconvinced.

“Uhh, yeah,” Sam nodded, trying to go along with Gabriel's improvised explanation, “Gabriel and I were playing it together.”

“But neither of us got to win,” Gabriel mumbled, obviously intending for only the adults to hear.

Dean took a breath and clapped his hands together, gaining everyone's attention.

“Alright,” he announced, “Jude, Jess, everyone is okay. Why don't you guys go and play on the jungle gym? We'll have to leave soon, so you better have fun while you can.”

The toddlers were understandably hesitant to leave their daddies; especially Jessica, who was still holding onto Gabe's leg. It took a little coaxing, but Jude and Jess eventually wandered off toward the playground equipment. Dickie stayed behind to give Sam and Gabe an extra long stare – as if he was thinking, 'You guys are such amateurs' – before following the kids away. Once Jude and Jess were out of hearing range, Dean turned to give Sam and Gabriel a severe glare.

“You two tried to have sex a public bathroom? Really?” he grumbled, “You know there are kids around! Why the hell didn't you lock the freakin' door?! Jude's been through enough today, dammit!”

“I'm sorry,” Sam said, feeling heat linger on his face, “We weren't thinking clearly.”

Dean only rolled his eyes and shook his head, seeming exasperated beyond words. Luckily, he walked away in defeat instead of ranting in anger. He and Cas kept their focus on the kids, leaving Sam and Gabriel alone again. The man turned around to face the archangel, who was still topless and smuggling a boner in his tight pants. The pitiful sight of his unsatisfied partner made Sam feel guilty. He truly wished that he could put an end to their sexual frustration, but for now, it seemed like they were going to be waiting to have sex for a long time.

“So much for five minutes,” Gabe sighed.

Chapter Text

“Man. This is worse than trying to read Meta-douche's crappy handwriting,” Gabriel complained, lifting Bobby's paper up in the air and squinting at it, “The words are all smudged up. Huh. I think there's even a coffee stain on this thing... Ah, wait, no. That's whiskey. Or is it bourbon?”

“We don't care what the paper looks like, Gabe. We just need to know what it says,” Sam mentioned quietly.

The Winchesters were all exiting the Impala back at the motel. They had stayed at the park a little too long, mostly because the kids didn't want to stop playing and none of their parents had the heart to pull them away from having fun. Now, it was dark outside and creeping up on Jude and Jessica's bedtime. Jess had already fallen asleep in the backseat, so Sammy was being extra careful not to wake her up as he took her out. Jude was starting to nod off too, but was still awake when Dean unbuckled him. His blue eyes were blinking slowly and he was hanging onto Dean's shoulder with a weak grip. Dean hugged his tired little boy close as he patted around his own pockets for the motel room key and listened to the guys behind him.

“Hmm. This word here is either 'witches' or 'pistachios',” Gabriel said as he followed the guys around the hood of the car.

“Given that this text is meant to reveal the location of a book that includes evil intentions, we can infer that the word is 'witches',” Cas added.

“Well, I don't know. Pistachios can be pretty evil when they want to be,” Gabriel mumbled.

“Gabe, just read the paper,” Sam huffed.

Dean rolled his eyes and smiled at his family's quiet bickering as he unlocked the door and led the way inside. The place was in the same state of chaotic disarray that they had left it in; unmade beds, stray toys, piles of duffel bags and boxes everywhere. The stale smell of old coffee and waxy crayons was hanging thick in the air, too. Dean breathed it in as he stepped over some dirty clothes to let everyone else in. Cas, who had been directly at Dean's back, paused next to him and held both hands out.

“Come here, son. Allow me to dress you for bed,” the angel murmured softly to Jude.

Jude yawned in Dean's arms, letting out the tiniest and cutest noise ever, before lazily leaning over to let his papa take him. Dean gave Cas a small wink patted him on the shoulder as he walked away with their son in hand. Sammy stepped over to gently lay Jessica on his and Gabriel's bed, after which Dickie hopped up to curl into a ball next to her. Across the room, Gabriel started to quietly read from the old paper.

“In accordance with law of our ancestors,” Gabe read, “the pistachios – sorry, Witches of the East Order have erased – no, no, buried our high priestess in a garden of rosemary... On a hill... Uh, something about a grave made out of hardened clay... Yadda, yadda, yadda,... Ah-ha! It says here that they laid their book of untempered magic to rest with their coven leader.”

Dean's sight traveled from Gabriel to Sam, who was walking over to the motel table. He could see that Sam was thinking the same thing he was. Unearthing a witch's tomb and cracking it open was a really stupid idea. The Winchesters already had enough bad karma to last them a lifetime and they didn't need to add anymore from a coven of witches. Sammy dug his laptop out of his duffel bag before clearing off a small space on the table to sit down with it.

“Did you say Witches of the East Order?” he asked his blonde archangel as he turned his computer on.

“Yep. That's what it says,” Gabriel confirmed, “Unless I'm confusing 'east' with 'cabbage,' but I doubt it.”

Dean moved closer to the table while Sam tacked away on his laptop. The kid was probably typing the name into google to see what popped up. In the meantime, Cas returned from the bathroom with Jude in his arms. The angel had stripped down to his boxer shorts and loose white shirt, and their son was wearing his blue fleece pajamas. Jude was almost completely asleep by the time Cas came over to stand next to Dean. His little head was resting on his papa's shoulder and he was starting to suck on his fingers again; signaling that he was getting comfortable and ready for bed.

“Well,” Sam said, briefly looking up from the screen, “according to this site, it looks like we won't have to open any graves, because the high priestess' tomb was already opened about a hundred years ago. Some construction workers stumbled over it when they were building a new road system in the 1920s.”

“Where?” Dean asked.

“Pennsylvania,” Sam answered, “Apparently, they brought some pretty rough curses onto themselves and their town when they opened it. But everything inside her tomb was taken out and given to different museums and stuff... Gabe, what did you say the name of that book was?”

Gabriel raised the paper back up and looked at it before answering.

“Uh, book of untempered magic,” he replied.

Sam typed on his laptop and silently read the screen for a minute before raising his head again.

“It sounds like the book ended up at the Philadelphia History Museum,” he informed.

“That's good,” Dean nodded, “We're only about four hours out from Philly. You and I can drive there in the morning and see if -”

“Drive?” Gabriel interrupted, sounding confused, “Uh, why waste all that time driving there and back when I can just pop in and take it?”

“We don't know anything about this book, Gabe,” Sam said, quickly taking his brother's side, “It could be cursed or have angel wards on it for all we know. Dean and I should probably check it out first.”

“Plus, Bobby asked us to do this. I don't want to involve you and Cas too much, just in case things get dangerous. Besides, Jude and Jess are much safer with you two anyway,” Dean mumbled.

He could tell that his last statement made Cas a little sad, because the angel's blue eyes softened in the dim light of the room. Cas clearly wanted to argue for him; to reassure Dean that Jude was just as safe with him as he was with anyone else. But Dean was already shaking his head in disagreement. After what happened in the gas station, Dean didn't want Jude to leave Cas's side.

“Fine,” Gabriel sighed toward Sam, sounding defeated and annoyed at the same time, “You go ahead and have your little road trip with freckles. Meanwhile, I'll just hang around here and play Daddy Daycare with Jessie while you gallop around Philly without us.”

Sam exhaled with a small smile as he got up from the table and shuffled over to his boyfriend. Gabriel was pouting like a toddler; arms crossed, nose in the air, and eyes refusing to look at Sam. But it only took a gentle squeeze of Sam's long arms for the archangel to crumble like a soft cookie.

“We aren't leaving until the morning, Gabe. Come on, let's go keep Jessica company,” Sammy persuaded, tugging Gabriel toward their bed.

Gabe sighed again but willingly stumbled along with Sam's hold. While they went to bed, Dean turned around to look at his own angel. Jude was finally asleep in Cas's arms; limbs limp and eyes closed. But Cas was still wide awake and looking as pretty as ever.

“We should retire as well, Dean,” he said quietly.

Dean nodded before leaning over to kiss the top of Jude's head – and Cas's parted lips.

“Lead the way, baby,” Dean whispered.


The next morning was filled with the usual chaos that Dean had come to expect from his life of being a parent. Since Jude and Jessica went to bed super early the night before, they were both wide awake at the crack of dawn; running around the motel room, chasing each other and making Dickie bark. Needless to say, their daddies didn't get to sleep in at all.

Once they had their morning coffee, Dean and Sam took turns getting dressed in the bathroom. They decided to go ahead and put on a few of their nicest suits to look professional for when they went in to look around the museum. Dean preferred his flannel and denim, but the Winchesters always seemed to be more persuasive when they were wearing suits and flashing fake badges.

By the time Dean and Sam were ready to leave, the motel room had quieted down to a somber stillness. The angels were both wearing looks of apprehension when Dean swiped the keys of the table and Sam grabbed his jacket. And Jude and Jess seemed fully aware that their daddies were going away too, because they were watching with disappointment. Dean eyed his son's precious face when the little guy came over and reached up to take his hand.

“Can I come with you, Daddy?” Jude asked, sounding so sincere.

Dean smiled. It was nice to know that the gas station incident didn't have an effect on Jude's willingness to go along on car rides with his daddy. Dean bent down to pick up his child and wrap him in a giant hug. That baby-like scent was thick in Jude's hair and the smell made Dean's stomach ache with homesickness. He didn't want to go anywhere without Cas and Jude, but it was safer to leave them here with each other.

“Sorry, little man. But it's gotta be just me and uncle Sammy this time,” Dean mumbled against Jude's shoulder, “Don't worry, though. We'll be back before you go to bed tonight, okay?”

Jude nodded against Dean's neck before raising his head to look at him properly.

“Remember to be like Batman, Daddy,” he almost whispered, holding both sides of Dean's face with his little hands.

Dean's heart throbbed behind his ribs as he recalled the small talk he had with Jude the day before. He was glad that his words were able to make an impact on his child's way of thinking. Dean stamped Jude's forehead with a loving kiss before lowering him back to the floor.

“I will, son. I promise,” Dean agreed.

After ruffling Jude's spiky hair, Dean brought his attention to the blue-eyed angel standing behind him. Cas was still wearing that look of hesitation, like he wasn't ready to let Dean leave unprotected. To comfort his distressed angel, Dean stepped close to bring their mouths together. He and Cas shared a serious kiss, one that held honesty and worry rather than passion or lust. Cas was the first to pull away. The angel plucked his mouth free and took a shaky breath.

“If... If you need anything, Dean...”

“I'll call you,” Dean finished, giving him a smile.

Cas nodded his head a bit, even though he didn't seem any less worried.

“I love you,” the angel said, voice low and eyes boring into Dean's.

“I love you too, baby,” Dean winked.

The man gave his angel's hand a quick squeeze before starting for the door. Sam was trapped in the middle of a monster hug, being smothered by Gabriel, Jessica, and Dickie when Dean walked by. It took Sam even longer to pry himself away from his family than Dean did, but he eventually wiggled free and followed his older brother to the door, leaving Gabe and Jess to stare at him woefully.

“You'd better call me when you get there, moose,” Gabriel warned, “Don't make me drag you back here by your antlers.”

“I will, Gabe,” Sam promised, “See you later.”

With a chorus of goodbyes and 'I love you's serenading them, Dean and Sam finally walked out into the morning sunlight and got into the Impala. Neither of them said a word as Dean started up the car and pulled out of the parking lot, but they were both thinking the same thing – That simply leaving a motel room had never been so difficult.

The drive to Philadelphia lasted a full four hours, just as Dean predicted. The Winchesters didn't say much to each other during the trip, other than the occasional mention of their children, spouses, or the job they were currently on. Dean and Sam mostly just listened to the radio on the way. Thankfully, there wasn't much traffic until they got to the main part of the city. They found the museum in no time at all. A parking space, on the other hand, wasn't so easy to find. Dean ended up having to park the Impala a few blocks away at a meter, which kind of pissed him off. But he was glad that they had finally reached their destination.

After they were parked, Dean and Sam sneaked a few guns out of the false bottom of the trunk. As they casually armed themselves, Sam picked up one of the scrolls of paper near the edge of the trunk and rolled it open. It was Jessica's map – the one Dean got for her in place of a baby book – and it was almost as colorful as Jude's. At least fourteen different states had been colored in and labeled by Sam and Gabriel, describing how old she was and what she had been doing when they traveled there. Feeling nostalgic, Dean grabbed Jude's map and opened it up, too. Seeing all of Jude's precious memories laid out on paper made Dean miss the little guy like crazy.

“I wish we had a place to hang these,” Sam mumbled over the sound of nearby traffic.

Dean let out a heavy sigh. He wished that they had a place to hang the maps up, too. In fact, whenever Dean imagined Jude having his own room, he always pictured this very map hanging over Jude's bed; hovering over him to be a constant reminder that he was a loved, cherished, and well-traveled little boy... But that was only in Dean's imagination. Jude didn't have a room. At least, not yet. Dean quickly rolled Jude's map back up and gently stowed it back in the car.

“Come on,” he breathed, “Let's get this over with.”

Sammy released a sigh of his own and put Jessie's map away before shutting the trunk and following Dean across the street. It took them a few minutes of walking to get to the museum. The building itself looked like it was constructed entirely out of solid concrete and stone, making Dean think that the place was really old and highly secured. He and Sam started to walk up the stone steps to get to the main entrance when Sam grabbed him by the arm.

“Dean,” Sammy said, pointing toward the street with a smile, “Look.”

The older brother paused on the steps and turned to follow Sam's pointing finger, wondering what was so important. In his immediate view, Dean could see a newspaper stand, a fire hydrant, and a metal bike rack filled with bicycles. For a moment, he didn't know which thing Sam was pointing out.

“What?” he eventually asked.

“Look at that bike,” Sam grinned, walking back down the stairs, “Oh man, Jessica would freak out if she saw it.”

Dean followed his brother back down the stone steps to get to the bike rack at the bottom, where he finally saw what Sam was talking about. There was a line of tiny bicycles chained to the metal bars and the closest one to the front was painted with rainbow colors. Multicolored streamers were dangling from both handle bars and small training wheels were attached to the back. It looked like it would fit Jessica perfectly, bright colors and all. Sam knelt down next to the bike and flicked some of the plastic streamers with his fingers, wearing a huge grin.

“I've got to get her one of these,” he mentioned, flashing his brother a smile, “She would love it, wouldn't she?”

Dean nodded as his eyes wandered down the line of small bikes. There was a blue and red one on the other end that was similar to the colors of Superman's suit and it made him instantly think of Jude. Dean could almost picture his son riding around on it while wearing a red cape, fighting invisible bad guys and racing Jessica around... But the happy thoughts in his head were soon replaced with disappointment. Even if he could somehow afford to get Jude and Jessica their first bicycles, where would they put them? In their already-crowded motel room? There was no way both bikes would be able to fit. And where would the kids ride them around anyway? In the motel parking lot? The idea was both pitiful and heartbreaking, and made Dean feel like a failure.

“We... don't have a place to put them,” Dean forced out, hearing his own voice crack a little.

Sam's grin slowly faded away as his eyes traveled back to the pretty rainbow bike in front of him. Dean always hated seeing that sad look on his little brother's face. It was like denying him his own bike all over again. A few seconds of silence ticked by before Sam looked back up at Dean.

“Maybe we should start looking for a place, then,” he suggested, sounding hopeful.

Dean stood on the sidewalk and actually thought about Sam's sentence. Start looking for a place? Was Sam implying that they should look for a house? Dean always liked the idea of having a house of his own; somewhere he could come home at the end of the day and kick his feet up. Somewhere that had a garage for baby to sleep in, a big bedroom for Jude, and an even bigger bedroom for him and Cas. Plus extra space for Sam, Gabe, Jessie, and even their dog. Dean wanted a giant house that they could all live in together.

But that wonderful notion seemed impossible. The Winchesters were poor; so broke that they had to run credit card scams and get their angels to steal things for them just to keep their kids fed. They couldn't afford a doghouse, let alone a life-sized house with multiple bedrooms and a nice big lawn. As much as Dean loved the idea of having an actual home, he knew it just wasn't in the cards for them... Seeing that Dean was too deep in thought to reply, Sam stood up and cleared his throat before gesturing to the building behind them.

“We should probably head inside,” he mumbled, waving for Dean to follow.

Although Dean's head was full of buzzing questions and emotions, he shuffled back up the steps behind his brother. They wandered into the museum together where they were greeted at the entrance by the ticket counter. After paying twenty bucks – which Dean thought was outrageous and made him feel stupid for not letting Gabriel fly here for free – Sam started into the historical exhibit with his brother right behind him. Luckily, the place seemed pretty empty other than a small group of children and an elderly couple.

“It might be over there,” Sammy said, pointing toward a wall of glass boxes.

The Winchesters strolled up to the display of old artifacts and looked around, keeping an eye out for books. After a few minutes of searching, Dean finally found an ancient looking text book inside one of the glass cases. A picture of an eyeball was etched into the dark leather cover and the paper label next to it said something about the tomb of a witch.

“Sam,” Dean called, “It's here.”

Sam put down a brochure he had been holding and walked back over to the box Dean was in front of to peer down at the book.

“It doesn't look cursed,” he said quietly.

“Doesn't look warded either,” Dean added, tapping on the glass above it, “Do you think there's an alarm hooked up to this case?”

“I doubt it. This stuff is old, but it's not exactly valuable,” Sam explained, raising his head to look around, “There aren't even surveillance cameras in here.”

“Well, then let's crack this sucker open and take -”

“Welcome to the museum, gentlemen.”

Dean and Sam both jumped and turned around at the sound of a friendly female voice. A nicely dressed woman – presumably an employee of the museum – had walked over to hold out her hand. The Winchesters each gave her a friendly handshake while she smiled brightly and batted her long eyelashes.

“My name is Lauren and I'm one of the tour guides here,” she informed, “Do you guys need help finding anything? Have any questions about the exhibits?”

“Um, no. We're fine, thank you,” Sam said, giving his best fake smile.

“Well, I happen to be on my break right now. I can offer you a free tour if you'd like,” she smirked.

Dean didn't miss that the woman's brown eyes danced up and down the length of his entire body. He had been around the block a few times and could tell when someone was trying to flirt with him. And right now, little miss Philly was giving Dean the most promiscuous stare she could muster. For the first time in a long time, Dean actually felt uncomfortable with being looked at in such a lustful way by some random chick. But her obvious allure to him actually gave him an advantage. Dean knew that he could keep the lady distracted long enough for his brother to get the book. The older Winchester briefly turned toward the younger to whisper.

“Take it while I keep her occupied,” Dean hissed quickly.

Once he saw Sam nod, Dean turned back around to give the woman a large smile.

“Actually, you know what? I'd love a small tour,” he lied, leading her away from the glass case at his back, “How about we start with the map room?”

“Ah, the map room. Excellent choice,” she praised, leading him around a wall, “Well, our great city was founded a few centuries ago on...”

The lady kept talking while she walked but Dean wasn't paying attention. He made sure to give Sammy one last wink, signaling that he was in the clear, before ducking out of the room with the tour guide. The two of them strode side by side across a floor made out of a giant map. Dean let his eyes wander absently over all the pictures while the lady droned on and on.

“What did you say your name was, sir?”

Dean shook himself out of a daze to look back and the nicely dressed woman again.

“Uh, I didn't,” he said, quickly patting around his pockets for a fake ID, “I actually work for the FBI, and my name -”

Dean's sentence came to a halt when he felt something fall out of his pocket. The man quickly bent down to pick it up, thinking it was his fake badge – but instead, he found Jude's plastic Batman figurine on the floor at his feet. Dean eyed the small toy as he picked it up, feeling a rush of emotions flood his system. Jude must have put it inside Dean's pocket when he wasn't looking. The little guy wanted his daddy to keep the small toy and always remember to be a hero like Batman... A strange mass formed in Dean's throat as he blinked down at the tiny plastic figure in his hand. He suddenly wished that his son was there so that he could give him a big hug...

“You have kids?”

Dean looked back up at the woman next to him, who was glancing between his face and the toy in his hand. The man coughed a little, trying to clear the lump out of his throat. Although he was technically on a case and attempting to keep someone distracted, Dean couldn't pass up the opportunity to ramble on about how awesome his son was.

“Yeah,” he nodded, wearing a real smile, “I've, uh, got a boy. He's three.”

“Aww,” she cooed, making a happy face, “I'll bet he's adorable.”

“Oh, he is,” Dean agreed.

The man quickly dug his cell phone out of his pocket and swiped the screen open. He knew that there was a recent picture of Jude in his gallery and he couldn't help but show it off. Dean swiped passed a bunch of random snapshots before finding a good one of his son and holding it up for the lady to see. Her eyebrows curved upward and her painted lips formed a sweet smile.

“D'aww, he's so cute! He looks just like you,” she sang.

“Thanks,” Dean murmured.

He brought his phone back down to look at Jude's picture and smiled at his familiar blue eyes and cheesy grin before swiping through a few more pictures. Jude, Cas, Jessie, Sam, Gabriel, and Dickie were peppered throughout the gallery. But there was one picture in particular that caught Dean's attention. It was one of Cas that he didn't remember taking. The scene was dark, like he was in a room with all the lights out, and he was making a strange face at the camera. It was only after noticing himself laying asleep in the background that Dean realized Cas must have taken an accidental selfie with his phone. The man smirked at the picture of his curious angel, feeling waves of admiration crash over him. Man, he loved seeing Cas pop out of nowhere...

“I'm sure your wife must be very proud.”

Dean looked back up at the museum tour guide, who was still wearing a friendly face. Wife? That was an odd title to give Cas...

“I don't have a wife,” Dean blurted, feeling amused by the thought.

“Oh,” the lady almost purred, suddenly putting her lustful eyes back on, “That's... interesting.”

Dean was staring at the woman in front of him – knowing full well that she was offering herself to him free of charge – but all he could think about was Cas. The only thing Dean wanted in that moment was to have Cas standing next to him; to be able to reach out and take hold of his angel's hand and say to the woman, 'Actually, this is my partner. And he and I are very proud of our son.' Dean wanted to explain to her that he was already in love with the most caring, patient, compassionate, beautiful blue-eyed angel to ever grace the Earth...

A loud cough echoed around the room, making Dean and the tour guide both look toward the entrance. Sammy was leaning inside, clutching his suit jacket and giving Dean a subtle nod toward the exit. The kid had obviously taken the book out of the case and hid it in his clothes, and now he wanted Dean to make a quick get-away with him. Dean tucked Batman and his cell phone back into his pockets as he turned around briefly to give the lady a polite smile.

“My brother has an appointment we have to get to,” Dean lied, already starting to walk away, “Sorry, but I can't finish the tour.”

The woman looked genuinely disappointed that Dean had to leave. A bit of desperation came over her eyes as she watched Dean walk away.

“Well, um, please come back soon, sir,” she called with a smile.

“I'll do my best,” Dean assured, pausing to give her one last look, “... and next time, I'll bring my boyfriend with me.”

Dean smiled brightly at the look of pure shock on the woman's pale face before he turned on his heel to follow his brother out of the room.


Traffic was hell by the time Dean and Sam reached the Pennsylvania boarder. The first snowfall of the year had come down in the form of a gigantic ice blast, which caused at least three separate accidents along the highway. Dean had no doubt that his Impala would make it back to the motel safely, but it was definitely going to take them longer than four hours because of the slow-moving traffic alone. Dean and Sam briefly considered praying to their angels for a little roadside assistance, but decided that letting them stay with the kids was for the best. Sammy gave them a phone call instead, to let them know that he and Dean were going to be late getting back. The angels weren't very happy about it but agreed to stay with Jude and Jess.

Things were quiet during the trip back to the motel. Sammy actually fell asleep when they hit the five-hour mark, which left Dean all to himself. The older brother was actually grateful for the personal silence because it gave him time to think about Cas. Ever since he found the angel's accidental selfie in his phone back at the museum, Dean kept remembering it – and looking at it – over and over again, wondering how a guy could be so beautiful in a candid photo.

Dean loved looking at Cas. Staring at him always made Dean feel safe and calm; made him feel worthy of being loved and gave him the confidence he needed to be a good father to their son. Cas made Dean feel so happy, and looking at his picture made Dean realize how much he missed him. It felt like the two of them never had a chance to be alone and talk anymore. Things kept getting in the way of their personal time and Dean missed having Cas all to himself. The days of taking his angel and hiding away from the rest of the world, even if it was just for a few hours, seemed long gone. And, dammit, Dean really wanted them back.

Dean actually felt a little excited when the neon motel sign came into view through the thick snow. It was dark outside by the time they made it back; probably past the kids' bedtime. Dean was the first one out of the car. He turned off the engine, woke Sammy up, and hopped out to dash his way through the snow to get to their motel room. Luckily, the door was unlocked and he was able to let himself in.

When the man came inside, he was met with a sudden 'Shhhh' from Gabriel, who was sitting in front of the TV with Jessica in his arms. The little blonde girl was halfway asleep and her angelic papa was obviously trying to keep her from waking up. Dean gave a nod before flashing a glance around the cluttered room in search of the rest of his family. But there wasn't a single blue eye to be seen.

“Where is Jude? And Cas?” Dean asked Gabe in a whisper, feeling worried.

“Jude's asleep over there,” Gabe answered quietly, craning his neck to look around Dean, “Where's my moose?”

“I'm here,” Sam replied, walking in behind Dean and shutting the door.

While Sam put the book down and went to give his archangel and their sleeping daughter a warm embrace, Dean stepped over to peer into his and Cas's bed. Jude was swaddled up in the white sheets with his stuffed bee tucked loosely under his arm. His eyes were closed, his little mouth was open, and his hand was laying in front of his face; fingers pruned from where he had sucked on them to fall asleep. Dean smiled down at his precious baby boy as he reached out to gently touch his pale cheek. Dean was so grateful to see Jude in person again after thinking about him all day. The man leaned over and pressed his lips to his son's temple.

“I love you, buddy,” Dean whispered, “Thanks for Batman.”

Jude didn't stir at all. The little guy stayed peacefully asleep the whole time his daddy spoke to him. After giving his son's face another quick kiss, Dean stood back up to look for Cas. He knew that the angel had to be close by because he almost never left Jude's side. But the bathroom and kitchen were both dark and void of people. Worry was trying to rise up in his chest again as he walked back to everyone else.

“Gabriel, where is Cas?” Dean asked again.

“Hello, Dean.”

A flicker of surprise shot through Dean's body at the familiar sound of Cas's deep voice. The man spun around to see the angel standing near the door, looking as handsome as ever. Cas was wearing his usual suit and trench coat as always, but he was holding a brown paper bag and an aluminum container in his hands. Dean's eyes flew all over Cas's entire form, drinking in every small detail. Damn, it was so good to see that sexy bastard again...

“I assumed that you would be hungry when you returned, so I retrieved some food for you,” the angel said, holding out the things in his hands.

The scent of savory of hamburger and sweet cherry pie tickled Dean's nose, making his stomach gurgle happily. Dean was at a loss for words. How did Cas know that he would be hungry? The guy even got Dean's favorite foods. Cas was so damn thoughtful. So unconditionally good. God, Dean loved him so much...

“Cas,” Dean croaked out, stumbling forward to yank the food out of his hands and toss it on the table, “I... I need to talk to you.”

Cas – and Sam and Gabriel – seemed understandably confused by Dean's urgent outburst. The man briefly turned around to see that his brother and the blonde archangel were both giving him looks of concern. Dean cleared his throat before gesturing to the bed his son was sleeping in

“Watch him for a minute,” Dean requested as he dug his keys back out of his pocket, “Cas and I will be right back.”

Before anyone could argue with him, Dean was already halfway out the door. He tugged Cas along by the hand and led him back to the Impala through the snow. Cas willingly shuffled along with Dean's grasp even though his eyes were full of bewilderment.

“What do we need to discuss, Dean?” the angel asked, sounding lost.

Dean didn't answer Cas's question because, frankly, there wasn't anything to discuss. Dean just wanted to be alone with Cas again, the way they used to be before their current living situation made it too difficult. The man let go of the angel's hand and pointed toward the passenger side, silently telling him to get in. Cas obeyed Dean's unspoken command and got in the car without question. Dean quickly got back into the Impala and nervously fumbled around with the keys until he found the right one to put in the ignition. Man, he was so anxious to be alone with Cas again; to kiss him and touch him and love him...

“Dean? Is everything okay?” Cas asked, his voice heavy with worry, “Where are we going?”

The Impala's engine roared to life and Dean quickly backed out of the parking space. He wasn't planning to go very far; just to the other side of the parking lot to avoid being seen. Dean pulled around the motel building and nestled the vehicle beside an old dumpster, under some branches of a snow-covered pine tree. Once the Impala was mostly hidden from sight, Dean shut the engine back off and finally turned to look at Cas.

The blue-eyed angel sitting beside him looked totally confused. Cas had no idea what was going on, but Dean could hear his own heart pounding in his ears. He was already breathing heavily, wanting to touch Cas so bad.

“I missed you, baby,” Dean breathed, reaching out to cup Cas's pretty face.

The man slid closer to the angel in the seat so that he could bring their mouths together. Goosebumps rose on Dean's skin as he felt hot air rush out of both of their noses. Feeling Cas's wet tongue rub against his own made Dean's cock flick to life in his pants. A tiny noise escaped Cas's throat as Dean's hands slid up the front of his chest to tug his blue tie loose. It seemed like Cas finally understood what Dean wanted – and Cas wanted it, too.

With a small 'mmm,' Cas dove deeper into their kiss, almost shoving his tongue as far into Dean's mouth as it would go. Dean fully welcomed the angel's advances, wanting to taste the heavenly flavor and feel their lips move together. Cas's warm hands were suddenly running up and down the front of Dean's suit, rubbing against his broad chest through the fabric. Dean let out a whimper as he let his own hands slide down to grab the angel's thick thighs. God, he couldn't wait to get Cas naked and look at his gorgeous bare body again.

Cas suddenly shifted in the front seat, sliding around to toss one of his legs over Dean's waist. The man let out a low moan when he felt Cas sit down on his lap. His dick was already swollen with blood and pressing hard against the fabric of his pants, wanting to stand up and get inside Cas's body. The angel's ass felt so warm against Dean's crotch and it only made his erection grow. Dean quickly unbuttoned Cas's white shirt and shoved all three layers of his clothes down to his elbows, exposing his shoulders, bare torso, and the top of his back. The sight of Cas's dark nipples and tense ab muscles made Dean's dick twitch again.

While Dean furiously worked to get Cas's pants undone, the angel was pulling Dean's suit open; using his soft hands to undo the buttons and finally touch Dean's bare skin. The contact made Dean let out another groan that rumbled through their kiss. Once Cas's belt was off, Dean quickly tugged the angel's pants down; bending the guy in half over the front seat at an awkward angle so that he could take them off completely. Cas whimpered and clung to Dean's head as his lower half was being exposed, reaching down to help Dean slide them off. Dean quickly freed his own cock too, before leaning forward to open the glove box and dig around inside. He knew he had stashed some lube in there for emergencies like this one. His hand eventually found the tube and he yanked it out to pop it open. Dean squeezed a generous amount of lube onto his fingers and swirled it around to warm it up before ducking his hand under Cas's coat to rub it against the angel's hole.

Ahh,” the angel sighed, sounding so aroused.

Dean gulped and panted as he readied his angel, feeling Cas's warm tight hole constrict around his fingers. God, he couldn't wait to get inside; to feel all of Cas's muscles squeezing around his dick. The man rubbed some more lube onto his own throbbing cock before letting Cas sit back in his lap. Cas reached between his own quivering thighs to guide Dean's cock inside, finally allowing their bodies to merge together.

“Shit, Cas,” Dean grunted, feeling pleasure echo up from his pelvis, “Ah, baby... I love you...”

A groan toppled out of Cas's mouth as he leaned forward to smear his lips across Dean's again.

“I love you, too... Dean... Ahh,” he squeaked, starting to move up and down.

The whole car started to rock as Cas bounced in Dean's lap. The man tried to hold in more noises as he thrust into his angel's warm, slick body. Their tongues swam together as they moved. Their hands were running all over each others' chests, shoulders, necks, and even in their hair. Dean felt like he couldn't get close enough to Cas. He wanted to be surrounded by him in every way possible; to smell him, feel him, taste him, breathe him in. Dean wanted to bury himself inside Cas and live there forever.

“Dammit, Cas,” Dean cried out, close to orgasm already, “You feel so good.”

Cas moaned and bounced harder, reaching down to take hold of his own hard dick. The angel stroked himself in a frenzy while he panted into Dean's open mouth.

“F – faster, Dean,” he almost begged.

Dean instantly catered to his angel's wishes. The man clamped both of his hands onto Cas's shaking thighs and let him have it; pounding so hard and fast into his hole that he almost lifted off the seat. Cas pressed his back against the roof of the Impala and nearly shouted in ecstasy, clinging to the back of Dean's head with one hand while he jerked himself with the other. Dean was determined to make Cas come first. He wanted to give his beloved angel as much blinding pleasure as he could possibly offer.

D – Dean,” Cas moaned, his voice high and shaky, “I - ! I'm - !

With a shout of raw arousal, Cas finally came. Pure white semen pulsed from the head of his dick and splattered up Dean's heaving chest while he cried out with pleasure. Dean kept rocking into him, stimulating him from the inside for maximum effect. The look of utter bliss on Cas's face was the best part. Dean loved seeing his blue eyes go hazy and his cheeks get all pink.

The intoxicating sight of Cas's orgasm threw Dean into his own. The man moaned right after the angel and followed his lead, feeling waves of pleasure ripple through his body as his cock released inside Cas. Dean blinked and slurred Cas's name over and over again as he climaxed, feeling dizzy and high all at once. Holy shit. There was nothing like having an orgasm with Cas...

Both of them panted and relaxed afterward, sinking into each others' arms and letting their bodies calm down. Dean's hands slid up to wrap around Cas's bare back underneath his loose clothes as he pressed gentle kisses to the top of the angel's warm shoulder. The windows around them were fogged up and snow was starting to gather on the hood, giving them extra cover as they embraced each other.

Dean's lips traveled all over Cas's shoulder, down to his collar bone, nipped at the center of his chest, and finally came to rest over the faint line etched across the top of his stomach. The jagged mark was left there when Jude was born. It was a scar from the wound Cas gave himself when he delivered their son from his grace three years ago. The line never faded away from the angel's body even after all this time, and Dean was kind of glad it stayed. Cas's scar was a powerful symbol of how deeply a parent could love a child...

After giving Cas's body some extra attention, Dean let his head fall back against the seat to look up at the angel's eyes. Even though he seemed a little delirious from his orgasm, Cas took a deep breath and raked his fingers through Dean's hair.

“Did... Did you wish to have intercourse because I brought you food?” Cas asked.

Dean chucked, tightening his arms around Cas's back.

“No,” he smiled, “It's because I love you, feather-brain. And I missed you all day.”

“Oh,” the angel breathed, sounding secretly pleased, “I missed you as well... Were you and Sam able to obtain the book?”

“Yeah. We took it from the museum. Sam's got it,” Dean answered.

The mention of the museum made Dean recall everything that happened with the tour guide, and a more meaningful smile spread across his lips.

“By the way, were you playing with my phone the other night?” Dean asked, gently running his fingers up and down Cas's smooth back.

A sheepish look came across the angel's face as he briefly glanced away.

“I, um... I may have fiddled with it, yes,” he mumbled, sounding guilty, “How did you know?”

Dean grinned as he dug out his phone and swiped the screen to Cas's selfie. He held it up for Cas to see and the angel's cheeks turned rosy again.

“My apologies, Dean. I wasn't aware of -”

“It's okay, baby,” Dean interrupted, “This is actually a damn good picture of you. Might have to print it out.”

“Print it out? Why?” Cas asked.

“You know, so I can frame it and put it up or whatever,” Dean shrugged, looking at it again.

“Put it where?” the angel questioned.

The man swallowed harshly, feeling his earlier notions of disappointment come back with a vengeance. Where would Dean put a picture of Cas? On the motel nightstand? Where would he put his son's bike? Would he have to stow it in the trunk of the car? Dean couldn't keep living this way. He couldn't keep traveling from motel to motel, uprooting his child every few weeks to move, not having any privacy or places to put things. It was getting ridiculous! But how was he supposed to fix it? How was he going to find a permanent place for them all to live?

“Cas,” Dean breathed, looking back up into his angel's comforting stare, “I really want to buy our kid a bike. But I can't do it until we have a place to live. Not some motel room, I'm talking about a real place. We need a house, baby... Do you ever think we'll have one?”

Cas took a second to gather his words as he played with Dean's hair. The air between them was warm and moist when the angel began to speak.

“After witnessing the miracle of our son, Dean, I firmly believe that anything is possible,” Cas said quietly, “If you wish for us have a house, then we will pursue one. Together.”

Dean's smile slowly returned as he nodded. As usual, Cas was able to comfort and encourage him all at once. And he believed everything the angel said. With Cas, Dean could do anything...

The cell phone started to ring in Dean's hand, causing them both to jump at the unexpected sound. Gabriel's name was on the caller ID and Dean let out an exhausted sigh before pressing the talk button.

“Yeah?” he asked flatly.

“You two better not be having sex somewhere,” Gabe growled, sounding annoyed, “I swear to dad, if you get laid before I do, freckles, I'm gonna -”

“We're not having sex,” Dean blurted, even though he was looking down at Cas's semen painted across his own bare chest, “We're just talking.”

“Well, cut the convo short and bring it on home, Dean-o. Don't make me fact check you, 'cause I will,” the archangel warned.

Dean rolled his eyes. Geez, why couldn't he just have five minutes without someone wanting to ruin his good time? The man reached up to tug Cas's shirt back over his shoulders, letting the angel know that they needed to get dressed before they got caught.

“Chill out, pip-squeak,” Dean mumbled, “We're coming now.”

“So help me, you better be talking about 'returning' and not 'ejaculating,'” Gabe hissed.

Instead of replying, Dean ended the phone call and huffed a breath of frustration. He looked back up at Cas while he buttoned his shirt back up.

“Your brother gets on my nerves,” he mentioned.

“I know,” Cas smiled.

Chapter Text

Sam exhaled with disappointment as he stood in the kitchen and stared sadly at the last can of dog food on the counter. It was the only thing left out of Dickie's small stockpile. No more treats, no more dry kibble, no more bones. There was just one can of wet food and the sight of it made Sam feel guilty. Why didn't he notice that Dickie was running out of supplies before? The poor dog was down to nothing now. They really needed to get Dickie some more food – and probably some for themselves, too.

Sammy swiped the can off the messy counter top and cranked it open with a can-opener before kneeling down to empty the gooey contents into the dog's bowl. Dickie was excited to receive his breakfast. He was prancing up and down and barking a bit, wiggling and wagging his tail so much that his bow tie was shaking. Sam pet Dickie's warm back a few times while the little guy ate. The back of his collar caught Sam's attention, though. It would be so easy to unbuckle the strap and remove the silly costume.

“Are you sure you don't want me to take this off?” Sam asked, gesturing to the bow tie.

Dickie flinched away from Sam's pointing finger and gave a tiny growl – obviously stating his opinion on the matter – before sticking his snout back into his bowl. Sam rolled his eyes and shook his head. He had no idea why Dickie refused to take off the bow tie, but he did know that the dog was just like his owner; perverted, always hungry, and as stubborn as a jackass...

“Fine, then. Stay classy,” Sam mumbled with a smile.

After giving the eating dog one last pet, Sam raised back to his feet and looked over to the doorway, where he saw his little girl shuffling inside. Jessica was wearing her pink pajamas, holding her white bunny in one hand and her blanket in the other, looking fresh from sleep with her blonde hair swirled into a giant mess. She gave the tiniest, cutest yawn before looking up at her father with curiosity.

“Daddy,” she said, voice high and soft, “What's Papa doing?”

Sam bent down to pick Jessie up, blanket and all, and paused to plant a kiss on her beautiful face. He breathed in the sweet smell of her tangled hair before stepping back into the main room. Gabriel and Cas were already in his peripheral vision as he came closer. The angels were sitting at the table with the witch's book between them, trying their best to translate the text.

“Papa is... trying to figure out a puzzle, baby bunny,” Sam answered, hoping to make it easy for her to understand.

“Can I help?” she asked, sounding eager.

Sam smiled at his daughter's immediate willingness to help others.

“I'm sorry, Jessie, but this puzzle is really hard. Maybe you can help him another time. Why don't you build blocks with Jude for a while instead?” he offered, using his most cheerful voice.

“Okay,” the little girl agreed with a smile.

Jessica was already trying to scurry out of Sam's arms when he leaned down to put her back on the floor. The man watched his daughter race around all the stray toys to the other side of the room where Jude was playing before turning his attention to the motel table.

Cas and Gabriel both had bags under their eyes. When Dean and Cas came back from their private conversion the night before – which Gabriel thought was just an excuse for them to run off and have sex together – the two angels stayed up all night to decipher the witchcraft book while everyone else went to bed. Now, it was almost nine o'clock in the morning and Cas and Gabriel were still trying to figure it out. Cas was almost glaring at the page in front of him, mercilessly scrutinizing it within an inch of its life. Gabriel was sitting across from his brother, holding his head in both hands as if it might explode from over thinking. And for once, the archangel wasn't speaking. It seemed like all the busy work had drained him of his usually energetic spirit.

Hoping to make him feel better, Sam quietly stepped over to Gabriel's chair where he leaned over to nuzzle his nose between the grove of Gabe's neck and shoulder. The man pressed a few tiny kisses to the side of the archangel's warm bare neck and his loving efforts were rewarded with Gabe's hand finding its way back to cup his cheek.

“Mmph,” Gabriel grunted, sounding exhausted but pleased, “There's my knight in shining armor. Have you finally come to rescue me from all this work?”

Sam smiled as he hugged Gabriel from behind and rested his chin on the archangel's shoulder to peer at the table in front of them. There was a pretty big stack of notebook paper spread out on Gabriel's side, covered with his messy handwriting and some roughly drawn sketches. It seemed like he and Cas had translated most of the book overnight.

“What have you guys figured out?” Sam asked, reaching forward to leaf through some of the pages.

“Well, it took us for-freaking-ever to find the part about making a portal to hell. It was all the way in the back of the book. But Cassie and I have cracked the code on most of the instructions,” Gabe replied.

Sam picked up a page with numbered steps and read through some of Gabriel's translation. From what he saw, the portal-making process sounded ridiculously difficult.

“Lava?” the man breathed, “Blood sacrifice?!”

“Yeah, that lava is going to be a real set-back,” Gabriel grumbled, “but don't worry too much about the blood sacrifice part, moose. This is the twenty-first century and we have banks full of the stuff.”

Sam stood up straight and blinked several times, feeling confused and at a loss for words. Making this portal involved strong elements of dark magic and it left Sam wondering why Bobby would ever go to such lengths to insure a trip to hell. Bobby knew better than anyone that dabbling in dark magic was dangerous. Would he still be willing to get to hell if it meant putting himself in harm's way?

After the muffled sound of a toilet flushing, Dean wandered out of the bathroom in mid-yawn. The older Winchester came over to stand next to the younger at the table and looked over at Cas.

“So, are we going to be able to do this thing or what? How hard is it to make a portal, Cas?” Dean asked, sounding weary already.

“Extremely,” Cas answered, finally looking up from his own work to meet eyes with Dean, “The first step is to extract lava from 'Hades' Heart.' After extensive research into this phrase, Gabriel and I discovered that 'Hades' Heart' is the title the Witches of the East Order gave to the dormant volcano located in Wyoming.”

“Yellowstone,” Sam mumbled.

“Yes,” Cas nodded, “The lava must be extracted in its liquid state, poured into molds, and cooled in order to form large bricks of igneous rock. Sixty-six of them, to be exact. Afterward, the bricks must be stacked into a very meticulous pattern that forms an archway.”

“Then there's some witchy mumbo-jumbo,” Gabriel added, picking up a piece of paper to glance over it as he spoke, “We've got to get a grocery list of ingredients to pour over the arch, drip human blood on the center brick, say a Latin phrase... Then, bam. The backdoor to demon-ville is wide open.”

“That sounds... hard,” Sam uttered.

“That's what she said,” Gabriel replied with a subtle smirk.

“Lava is like a billion degrees,” Dean added, ignoring Gabriel's comment, “We can't even get close to it, let alone make bricks out of it without burning ourselves.”

“My vessel is very durable, Dean. I can withstand the intense heat,” Cas replied, “The real problem will be extracting the magma without causing a premature eruption.”

“Also what she said,” Gabe mumbled under his breath.

“You guys are angels,” Sam reminded, glancing between Gabe and Cas, “Can't you just... I don't know... magically extract it or something?”

“In a manner of speaking, yes,” Cas answered, “but this task will require some time. Even with celestial grace, it will take at least a few hours to pour the molds and even longer to let them cool completely. If we include retrieving the anointing ingredients and arranging the archway, this mission could take a few days at least.”

“Then we better get started,” Dean said, shrugging his shoulders, “Sam, you and Gabe can watch the kids while Cas and I go and get -”

Nope,” Gabriel interrupted, hopping out of his seat to give Dean the stink-eye, “I don't think so, freckles. You are not going to leave me and Sam with the kids again. This time, you get to babysit while the moose and I go off somewhere to have sex.”

“Ugh, we were not having sex!” Dean stated, sounding overly defensive.

“Hmm, you know what? It smells like smoke in here. It must be because someone's pants are on fire!” Gabriel snapped.

Enough,” Cas barked, standing up from his seat to look between the two of them, “Gabriel, you know as well as I do that this will require both of our graces. Dean, I'm sorry, but you and Sam cannot possibly aid us. Gabriel and I can get it done faster and the children will need to be looked after while we are gone. I believe it would be for the best if you and Sam stay behind with Jude and Jessica while my brother and I do this job.”

Sam's eyes traveled to Gabriel's where he saw the same mixture of disappointment and worry. He didn't want to be separated from Gabe. It felt like they were just reunited again. Plus, Jessica needed her papa. What if she asked another question that Sam couldn't answer? What if she had another nightmare that Sam couldn't sooth? What if she needed something that only Gabe could offer?

“... I don't like it,” Dean mumbled, shaking his head.

“None of us do. But Cassie has a point,” Gabriel sighed, raking a hand through his golden hair, “We can get it done pretty fast by ourselves... I just hope that Singer appreciates everything we're doing for him.”

“He does, Gabe,” Sam replied softly, reaching over to place his hand on the archangel's shoulder, “We kind of owe him one anyway, don't we?”

All four guys nodded their heads in agreement. After everything Bobby had done for them – helping them, giving them a place to stay and food to eat, being a loving uncle and grandfather to their children – it was only fair that they helped him in return. Dean dug around in his pocket for his cell phone as he stepped away from the group.

“I'll give the old man a call and let him know the deal,” he mentioned.

When Dean left to go talk to Bobby, Sam returned his full attention to the blonde archangel next to him. He could feel another goodbye coming and it made his stomach churn. Ugh, he hated saying goodbye to Gabriel. It wasn't fair that they never got to spend time together anymore. Gabe raised himself to the tips of his toes in order to toss both arms around Sam's neck and tug him down.

“Do you think we can sneak a quickie before I leave?” he whispered woefully, sounding like he already knew the answer.

As much as he wanted to say yes, Sam shook his head sadly. After what happened in the park, he was pretty much set against the idea of a quickie no matter how desperate he was.

“Not this time, Gabe,” he breathed, reaching up to run his thumb across the archangel's moist bottom lip, “but if you do a good job with Cas and help Bobby with this portal, I swear I'll pound your tight ass so hard you won't be able to walk for days.”

Gabriel physically shuddered in Sam's arms, seeming electrically aroused by his flirtatious promise.

“My knees are weak already,” he grinned.

Sam was about to lean down and press his lips to Gabe's smiling mouth when he felt a tug on his pajama pants. The two of them looked down to see their dog and their little girl staring up at them with pouting faces. Jessie looked like she was on the verge of crying; holding onto her stuffed bunny with a death grip.

“Do you have to go bye-bye, Papa?” she asked, voice cracking.

Gabriel instantly unwound his arms from Sam's neck to pick up their daughter.

“Oh, don't you cry, little Rabbit,” he cooed, cradling her softly against his chest, “Papa won't be gone for long. Uncle Cassie and I just have a few things to do for Uncle Bobby. But Daddy and Uncle Dean are going to stay here with you, Dickie, and Jude and play tea party, right Daddy?”

“Right,” Sam agreed, reaching up to curl some of Jessica's messy hair behind her ear, “Papa will be back before you know it, Jess.”

“And if you ever need anything, all you have to do is pray and Papa will come back. Okay?” Gabe asked, looking down into her eyes.

Jessica gave a timid nod against the top of her bunny's ears. Gabriel gave the little girl another warm embrace and pecked her forehead with a kiss.

“I love you, Jessie,” he breathed.

“I love you too, Papa,” she replied.

Gabe shifted around to hand Jessica off to Sam, who took her before leaning over to plant a kiss on the archangel's lips.

“And I love you, Samsquatch,” he smiled.

“Love you too, Gabe. Please be careful out there,” Sam requested, knowing how mischievous his archangel could be.

“You've got it,” Gabriel winked, before looking down at his whimpering dog their feet, “You be good, Dickster. Keep the moose and the rabbit safe until I get back, okay?”

Dickie gave a quiet bark at his master's command, as if he was ready to take on the role of guard dog. Sam took a breath of Jessica's sweet-smelling hair as he watched Gabriel walk over to stand next to Cas, who was in the middle of embracing Dean. Sammy noticed that Jude was hovering around Cas's side, too – and sneaking a plastic figurine of Superman into Cas's pocket. Although it seemed a bit weird, Sam didn't point the action out to anyone. He assumed that Jude wanted to put the toy in Cas's pocket for safe keeping or something.

After giving each other warm embraces and loving goodbyes, Cas finally backed up to stand with Gabriel. The Winchesters shared a small look with their respective angels for a moment as they held their children in their arms, all wishing that they didn't have to be apart.

“Call us every step of the way,” Dean said.

“We will,” Gabe promised.

After that, the angels disappeared, leaving the rest of their family to stare sadly at the wall behind them. Sam took a long breath as he gently rubbed his daughter's small back and laid his head against hers. Watching Gabriel leave was always hard no matter how many times he saw it happen. And Jessica must have felt the same way, because she tightened her grip around Sam's neck. Dean coughed a little bit into the somber silence.

“I think we should hit up the laundromat today, Sam. We're out of clean clothes,” he mumbled.

“Alright,” Sam replied flatly.

As he turned to walk toward the other side of the room with his daughter in his hands, Sam heard his cell phone 'ding' with a notification. Jessica's head raised from his shoulder at the sound as she, too, looked toward the motel table where his phone was laying. Sam reached over to swipe the device from the clutter and opened it to read a new text message from Gabriel.

I miss you guys already. :(

Sam smiled at the screen in his hand before tilting it to show Jessica. The little girl looked at the text, but obviously couldn't read it.

“Papa misses us already,” he explained.

Jess reached up to grab Sam's wrist with her tiny hand and tugged the phone close to her face – so that she could press her puckered lips to the screen. Sam's heart melted as he watched his daughter kiss the cell phone like she thought that her papa was somehow inside it. With a swirl of bittersweet emotion, Sam hugged Jessica tight and gave her temple another kiss. God, she was so unbelievably sweet. And she loved her papa so much...

“Me too, baby bunny,” Sam nodded, “Me too.”


After getting the kids dressed – which took awhile, because Sam had to carefully untangle Jessica's messy blonde hair and pull it into a ponytail without Gabriel's magic touch – the Winchesters loaded their children, their dog, and their giant pile of dirty laundry into the Impala so that they could head to the local laundromat. Sam packed a few extra toys and coloring books to keep Jude and Jess occupied during the few boring hours it would take to get the job done.

While Dean drove, Jude was already coloring happily in the backseat, but Jessica seemed more interested in watching the scenery fly passed her window. Sam stole several glances back at his daughter during the trip, noticing that she was staring up at the sky with a curious expression. The weather was overcast that day, kind of cloudy and drizzly, and it seemed to be upsetting her.

“The sky is sad,” Jessica mentioned over the roar of the Impala's engine.

Sam was used to his daughter giving things personalities and feelings. Whenever she ate grapes, she had to eat them in a specific order so that none of the other grapes would be upset. And when she played with her dolls, she dedicated time to each one so that none of the others would feel left out. So it didn't surprise Sam at all to hear her talk about the sky as if it had emotions too.

“It sure is, Jess,” Sam agreed, glancing out at the gray dreariness.

The little girl straightened herself up in her car seat and reached over to touch the window next to her.

“It's okay,” she smiled, “Papa told me how to make it happy again.”

Sam found Jessica's statement a little odd. Make it happy again? Did Gabriel teach her another trick? Sam turned in his seat to look at his daughter again, where he saw her waving her tiny hand up at the sky. Beyond the windows of the Impala, the clouds actually started to disperse overhead. Sam and Dean both looked around in wonder as the sun slowly peeked back out and shined over the road in front of them. The warm light glistened on the wet asphalt – and illuminated a fully-formed rainbow in the distance. Sam blinked toward the colorful arch in the sky, feeling impressed beyond words. Holy shit! His daughter just changed the freaking weather! And put a rainbow in the sky!

“Did she...” Dean gulped, “Did she just - ?”

“Yeah,” Sam breathed, answering his brother's stuttering question, “She did.”

Jessica giggled from the backseat, bouncing her dangling feet as she smiled at the rainbow through the windshield. Sam turned back to give her a new grin, one full of pride and sheer amazement.

“G – good job, baby rabbit. High five,” he grinned, holding out his hand.

Jessica happily slapped her tiny hand against Sam's giant palm, seeming quite proud of herself. The smugness on her adorable face reminded Sam of Gabriel so much...

The rest of the trip to the laundromat was uneventful. Dean parked the car in a small vacant lot across from the building and Dickie hopped out of the car with Dean to get the laundry out of the trunk, leaving Sam to help the kids out of their car seats. Sammy unbuckled Jessica first and gently placed her near Dean before going to assist his nephew.

The little boy was still in the middle of coloring a picture when his uncle came to unbuckle his straps. Jude was quiet as usual, seeming totally enveloped in his drawing. Sam glanced down at the paper Jude was working on and noticed something strange. On one side, there were stick figures of the whole family. Dean, Cas, Sam, Gabe, Jude, Jess, Dickie – they all had a spot on the little boy's picture. But off to the side, there was someone else. At first, Sam assumed that it might be Bobby, but the stick figure wasn't wearing a hat. The person off to the side wasn't colored in black crayon like everyone else, either. He was drawn in light blue and surrounded in squiggles...

“Who is that, Jude?” Sam blurted, pointing to the man in his drawing.

Jude glanced down at the paper in his hand before tossing it away to climb out of his car seat.

“The glowy man,” he mumbled.

Sam's eyebrows curved together as he helped his nephew get out of the Impala. Glowy man? Who was that? Was it some sort of imaginary friend that Jude created for himself?

“Is he your friend?” Sam asked, hoping to be discrete about it.

“No,” Jude replied, shaking his head.

The little boy didn't elaborate on his statement, but the nervous tone of his voice led Sam to believe that Jude didn't like talking about it. Whoever the glowy man was obviously made Jude feel uncomfortable...

“Buddy system,” Dean called, bringing Sam out of his thoughts, “Jessie, take my hand. Where is Jude? Jude, hold Jessie's other hand. We have to cross the street together. Dickie, get off of that fire hydrant. Come on, Sam.”

Although he was actively concerned about his nephew, Sam quietly stowed his worry away for the time being. He decided to mention it to Dean and Cas later whenever they were reunited. Sammy grabbed the toddler's toys, shut the Impala door, and focused on helping his family cross the street instead. Dickie pranced between Sam and Jessica's walking feet as they made their way to the entrance of the laundromat. There were only a few other people inside the building; a little old lady loading a washing machine and a college student folding his clothes in the corner. The Winchesters came in and gravitated to the right, where Dean sat a few of their duffel bags on the counter. Jude and Jessica climbed up into a few chairs near the glass wall and Sam handed them their toys before turning to help Dean.

“I only have a few quarters... Here,” the older brother sighed, digging them out of his coat pocket to place them in Sam's hand, “I'll run down to that store on the corner to grab the kids some snacks and get some change. Can you handle both of them for a minute?”

“Yeah, sure,” Sam agreed, “Hey, uh, can you pick up some dog food, too? Dickie's out...”

Sam felt a little embarrassed about asking his brother to buy it. Gabriel was usually the one who supplied Dickie with food, but the archangel was busy now and Sam didn't have any money. The man expected his older brother to roll his eyes at the request, but Dean gave a firm nod instead.

“Snacks and kibble it is,” he winked, before turning to look at his son, “Jude, I've got to run down the street for a minute. You listen to your uncle Sammy while I'm gone, okay?”

Although his blue eyes were large with concern, Jude nodded his spiky head of hair anyway. Dean leaned over to kiss the little boy's forehead on his way out the door.

“Be back in five minutes,” he promised.

After Dean walked outside and disappeared down the sidewalk, Sam took a large breath and unzipped the first duffel bag on the counter. The laundry detergent was laying in the front pocket, along with Dickie's stuffed moose. The dog on the floor barked a few times as Sam lifted the plush animal out of the bag, obviously wanting to have it. But the thing was covered in stains and reeked of dog odor. It needed washed more than anything else they had.

“Sorry, man. But the moose is getting a bath,” Sam told Dickie, as he opened a washer and tossed the toy inside.

The dog sat himself in front of the machine and whimpered, lowering his ears and staring up with worry. Sam smiled while he separated the clothes and loaded the washer. The more Dickie yearned for his favorite toy, the cuter he looked. It reminded Sam of Gabriel begging to get laid.

As Sam dug around in the sea of plaid and denim, he eventually pulled out something pink. At first, he thought that some of Jessica's underwear had fallen into Dean and Cas's bag. But when he held up the panties, Sam noticed that they were way too big for her. The satin underwear was large enough to fit a grown woman – or man – and the front was stretched out like they had contained a large bulge of some kind. Sam's face slowly drained of blood as he realized -

“Is that mine, Daddy?” Jessica asked sweetly.

Sam instantly stuffed the panties back into the duffel bag, wanting to get them out of his hands as soon as possible. Ew, gross! Dean and Cas were such perverts! Which one of them wore panties?! Was it Cas? Was it Dean? Was it both? Ugh! Sam coughed a few times before turning to face his daughter.

“Uh, y – yeah. Just, um, play with your toys, okay sweetie?” he said quickly, gesturing to the dolls and action figures between Jude and Jess.

Jessica thankfully nodded her blonde head and returned her attention to the doll in her hand. Sam spun back around to give a tiny shudder of disgust before sliding the bag away and grabbing another one. He made a silent vow with himself that he was never going to touch Dean and Cas's bag again. While he poured in some detergent and turned the machine on, Sam listened to the children have a quiet conversation nearby.

“What's a matter, Jude?” Jessica asked, her voice full of wonder.

“I miss my Papa,” Jude mumbled, sounding sad.

“Me too,” Jessie replied.

They were both silent for a minute as they played with their toys, each seeming somber and worried. Jude's head eventually raised up from its hanging position so that he could look at Jessica again.

“Jessie, what do you do when you're afraid?” he asked, sounding genuinely curious.

Although he wasn't part of the conversation, Sam found the little boy's question a little strange. Was Jude afraid of something? Did he need help dealing with something – or someone – that scared him?

“I tell my Daddy and Papa to make it go away,” she answered with a smile.

Jude nodded a little as he fiddled with Thor's tiny red cape between his fingers. He didn't appear comforted by Jessica's answer and it seemed like Jess knew it. She stared at him closely while she combed her doll's hair.

“Papa told me to snap my fingers like he does,” she added.

Jude's eyes wandered back up to give Jessica a hopeful look.

“Snap your fingers?” he repeated.

“Uh-huh,” she nodded, “It makes all the bad people go away.”

While Sam fanned out the t-shirt he was holding, he turned around to fully face the kids again. The idea of Jessica giving Jude advice on how to use his grace made Sam both proud and nervous. Proud because his daughter was so in-tune with her own abilities, but nervous because celestial grace could be dangerous. The man watched closely as his nephew attempted to snap his thumb and middle fingers together. The only thing it did was produce a few adorable 'snap' sounds, which made Sam smile. It was kind of cute watching Jude try to act like Gabe. Jessica was Jude's constant cheerleader; encouraging him with an eager tone.

“You gotta do it with all your heart, Jude,” she instructed.

A small glow appeared in Jude's eyes as he gave one last hard snap – and every single machine in the building burst open at once. The lights flickered and all the washers and dryers popped open to release their contents, making wet and dry clothes fly toward the center of the room. The sudsy water from Dean and Cas's load of laundry splashed against the back of Sam's head and poured down his back, causing him to jump in shock. Dickie's soaking wet moose soared through the air to splat on the floor and Dickie instantly chased after it. The old lady across the room let out a loud yelp of surprise and the college student scrambled out of his seat, both terrified of the unexpected phenomenon. The laundromat was suddenly flooded with water and soggy fabric and the cause was none other than Jude's grace.

Everything was silent afterward, except for a few drips of water on the floor and Jessica's tiny giggle. The event must have been funny to her because she was laughing so hard that her cheeks were turning pink. Jude, on the other hand, looked paler than fresh snow. He was staring at the huge mess he made with an open mouth and large eyes, as if he couldn't believe he had done it. Sam was pretty shocked, too. How in the world did Jude do that?!

While everyone timidly looked around – and Dickie licked his wet moose as if he was trying to give it CPR – the main door of the laundromat opened and Dean came strolling inside. He was busy looking around inside the grocery bag in his hand, but when he finally looked up, he stopped dead in his tracks. Dean's green eyes flashed over the big room, seeing all the open washer and dryer doors, soggy clothes on the floor, and wet people standing around, and his jaw slowly fell in surprise.

“What the hell happened?” he breathed.

Jessica giggled even louder, having to gasp for breath between chuckles. Sam shook some of the water out of his long sleeves and pushed some of his wet hair back, clearing his view to look at his brother properly.

“Jude snapped...” he mumbled.

Chapter Text

“C'mon, uncle Dean! It's tea time,” Jessica called sweetly.

In the motel kitchen, Dean finished loading up a few groceries into the mini fridge as quickly and efficiently as possible. The small container was barely big enough to hold all the juice, fruit, string cheese, and snacks for the kids, let alone all of his and Sam's food. The lack-of-space thing in their motel room was actually starting to piss Dean off a little bit. How in the hell was he supposed to keep all of this stuff cold? Did he need to go outside and build a freaking igloo for it or something? With a long exhale of frustration, Dean stuffed the last jar of jelly into the fridge and forced the door shut before spinning toward the main room. All he wanted to do was spend time with his family, not worry about their living situation.

Jude, Jessica, Sam, and Dickie were all sitting at the motel table when he walked inside. They had cleared most of the junk off the surface so that everyone could play together and Jessica's small plastic tea set was neatly arranged on the table, saucers and all. Sam – who was wearing some sort of crown made out of construction paper – was already sipping on his pretend beverage while Jessica poured invisible tea into Jude's cup.

“This is delicious, Jess,” Sam praised.

“You can't drink yet, Daddy,” she denied, yanking the cup out of his hand and putting it back on the saucer, “We has to wait for uncle Dean.”

Dean smirked as he finished the trek to the table and sat down next to Jude. Watching Sam get scolded by his own three-year-old daughter was pretty funny, especially when the guy was wearing a handmade paper crown and holding a pink teacup. When Jess noticed that Dean finally arrived, she beamed with delight and gave him his own cup and saucer.

“Here you go, princess,” she smiled as she tilted her teapot over Dean's cup.

“Princess?” Dean repeated, raising an eyebrow.

A muffled laugh came from Sam's side of the table. He was clearly amused by the fact that his daughter wanted Dean to have a feminine title. Jessica looked up at Dean with eyes so much like Sam's and gave him a joyful nod.

“Uh-huh. You're the princess, Daddy is the king, Jude is the knight, and Dickie is the butter,” she explained.

“She means 'Butler,'” Sam informed quietly.

“What about his moose, Jessie?” Jude asked, pointing to the stuffed animal.

Gabriel's dog was still wearing his bow tie collar and sitting on a pile of jackets in a chair, high enough to see over the table. And his stuffed moose – which was finally washed at the laundromat a few hours before – was propped up next to him, looking extra fluffy. After Jude asked his question, the dog hopped down and raced over to dig around Jessica's other toys. He came back a second later with something in his mouth; something small, black, and made of fabric. Dickie jumped back up on the chair and dropped the object – a tiny top hat – on his moose's head. The dog wagged his tail and panted afterward, seeming proud of himself.

“Him and Dickie is fancy together, see?” Jessica said, pointing out the hat and bow tie, “That means they're on a date!”

Dean shook his head but smiled. He couldn't get over how oddly entertaining his family was. A dog that wore bow ties and went on dates with a moose? Toddlers that could make rainbows appear in the sky and explode laundromats? Yeah, his life was strange and amazing – and he loved every second of it.

“Here you go, Mr. Butter,” Jessica cooed as she poured some fake tea into Dickie's cup, “You has to share with your moose-date.”

Dickie sniffed around his cup, probably wondering why there wasn't actually anything inside it, while Jessica poured herself some fake tea. She sat her teapot down afterward and raised her tiny cup and saucer.

“Drink up, everyone!” she announced.

Dean glanced down at his son beside him as he took a pretend drink of tea. Jude seemed just as happy as Jessica was to be having a make-believe tea party. The little guy slurped loudly against the rim of his cup and gave a loud fake burp, making Jessica giggle across the table. Her infectious laughter made Jude laugh too, and the beautiful sound made Dean wish that Cas was there to hear it. Sam took a little drink from his own cup before audibly smacking his lips together.

“This is delicious!” he exclaimed in a deep, kingly voice, “I hereby declare this tea to be the best in all of the kingdom!”

Dickie have a few barks from his chair to back up Sam's over-the-top performance. While Jessica and Jude giggled and drank some more of their fake tea, Dean's cell phone began to ring. The man dug around in his pocket for his phone and glanced at the screen – where he saw Cas's gorgeous selfie picture. Dean quickly pressed the talk button and held the phone to his ear.

“Hey, baby,” he answered, deliberately purring his words a bit, “I was just thinking about you. How's everything going?”

“Hello, Dean,” Cas replied, sounding tired, “Gabriel and I have completed the bricks and set them aside to cool. Now, we must travel to southern India to retrieve a few herbs and spices, so I... I thought I would call you before we left the continent to make sure you were okay.”

Dean noticed that everyone at the table was staring at him as he quickly and quietly shifted out of his seat. Luckily, Sam reclaimed the kids' attention when he left, keeping them occupied while Dean sneaked away to talk privately with his angel.

“Uh, good. I'm glad you called,” Dean said, wandering over to stand near the entrance of the bathroom, “There was a little mishap at the laundromat today, but everything's -”

“What happened? Were you attacked? Did anyone get hurt?” Cas interrupted, speaking in a blur.

“Whoa, calm down. Everybody's fine,” Dean promised, glancing over at his son, “Jude just kinda... made all the machines explode with his grace. Nobody got hurt.”

“Oh,” Cas breathed, sounding concerned, “Is he alright?”

“Yeah, he's okay. I just... I thought he had that stuff under control. I mean, I know he still hates flying, but the grace thing? Even Jessica knows how to use it,” Dean mumbled sadly.

“I know,” Cas replied, “In our spare time, I have been attempting to teach him how to manage it. But so far, the only thing he has mastered is how to form it in his hands and expel it, like throwing a ball. I believe he has taken after you when it comes to combat skills. He would rather use his physical abilities than his celestial gifts... Speaking of Jude, I found something of his today.”

“What?” Dean prompted.

“One of his toys inside my pocket,” the angel answered with a bewildered tone, “He must have misplaced it during his playtime.”

A grin grew across Dean's face as he stared at his blue-eyed boy from a distance.

“Let me guess,” he said quietly, “It's Superman, isn't it?”

“I'm not sure. It appears to be a little plastic man in a blue outfit with a red letter on his chest. There is a small piece of red fabric attached to his shoulders as well... Is he some kind of celebrity? A magician, perhaps?” Cas asked, sounding genuinely lost.

Dean gave a single laugh and rolled his eyes. God, he loved Cas so much...

“It's Superman, baby. Just keep it in your pocket. Jude wants you to have it,” Dean explained.

“If he is putting things in my pockets, perhaps Jude is in need of more storage space,” Cas mumbled, sounding like he was thinking out loud.

Dean's green eyes wandered away from the table where his family was sitting and glanced all around the room. The place was absolutely full of clutter; toys, clothes, laundry baskets, duffel bags, blankets, boots, dishes, stacks of DVDs, books, papers... Cas was right. Jude – and everyone one else – really did need more space. But they sure as hell weren't going to find it in a motel room.

“Dean,” Cas said gently, picking up on Dean's distress in the silence, “Have you given any more thought to what we discussed? Do you still wish to pursue a permanent residence?”

“Yeah, I do, Cas. But I just... I haven't got a chance to start looking into it yet,” Dean sighed, rubbing his eyes in exhaustion.

“There is no need to rush into a final decision, Dean,” Cas soothed, “You may take as much time as you desire -”

Hurry up, Castiel! I wanna get this over with,” Gabriel's muffled voice grouched in the background.

Cas exhaled over the phone – during which Dean imagined him giving Gabriel a foul glare of annoyance – before lowering his voice again.

“Gabriel is becoming impatient. May I speak with Jude for a moment?” the angel asked.

Dean looked back at the table and tilted the phone away from his mouth.

“Jude,” he called, making his son's tiny head pop up in question, “Come here. Papa wants to talk to you.”

A twinkle of joy and excitement flashed in the little kid's blue eyes as he spun in his seat to hop down. Jude dashed across the room as fast as his little feet could carry him, dodging toys and shoes along the way. Dean knelt down to his son's level and smiled as he handed over the phone. Jude's fingers were barely big enough to grasp Dean's cell phone, but he managed to hold it up to his own ear with both hands.

“Hello?” Jude asked, smiling brightly, “Hi, Papa!... Uh-huh... Yeah, we are playing tea party...”

While Jude spoke to Cas, Dean reached out to rake his little boy's hair to one side. The small difference made him look even more like Cas. Jude's blue eyes roamed around as he listened to his papa talk.

“I didn't mean to,” Jude said quietly, tilting his head down a bit, “I just wanted to snap my fingers like uncle Gabe... I know... Uh-huh... Okay... When are you coming home, Papa?”

A strange ache formed in Dean's stomach when he heard his child's question. Home? This wasn't home. Did Jude really consider this junked-up motel to be his 'home'? Dean didn't like that thought one bit. No, Jude needed a real home; an actual house with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Dean tried not to let his emotions show on his face as he watched his beautiful son talk to Cas.

“Okay... I will... Love you too, Papa... Bye-bye,” Jude said.

The little boy held the phone out with a look of slight disappointment, as if he was really hoping for Cas to come back. Dean gave Jude a loving smile and gestured to the table as he took the phone back.

“You can go play again, son,” he offered in the kindest voice possible.

Jude's sapphire eyes refilled with hopefulness as he turned to dash back to the table. Once the kid was out of hearing range, Dean exhaled and brought the phone back to his own ear.

“Hey,” he breathed, “I love you.”

“I love you too,” the angel replied on the line, “I will try to complete this journey as quickly as possible so that I can come home sooner.”

“This motel room isn't home, Cas,” Dean denied, shaking his head even though Cas couldn't see it.

“No,” Cas agreed softly, “You are my home, Dean. You and Jude.”

Dean blinked hard a few times, trying to keep the sudden abundance of moisture in his eyes. Damn. Cas was such a loving poetic bastard...

“You're mine, too,” Dean almost whispered, “Stay safe, baby.”

“Of course,” Cas promised, “I'll see you soon.”

Dean held the phone to his ear until the line went dead. Once he was sure he wasn't going to hear Cas's voice again, he lowered his phone to look at the screen. Cas's accidental selfie was still there; set as both the lockscreen wallpaper and Cas's contact photo. Dean smiled a the picture of his beloved angel for a moment and wished that he could see him in person before clicking the phone off and putting it back in his pocket.

A few feet away at the table, Sam was distributing small tubs of Play-Doh to the kids. It seemed like the three of them were having a great time mashing the colorful balls of dough into various shapes. Since everyone else was happily distracted, Dean figured that now would be a perfect time to start doing some research on the housing market. There was no harm in checking out a few listings, was there? Dean carefully stepped over to swipe Sam's laptop from his duffel bag before heading into the kitchen.

After clearing off a small space on the counter, Dean sat Sam's computer down and cracked it open to go to the web. Google was the first site that popped up when he clicked on the internet icon, but for a moment, Dean wasn't sure what to type into the search bar. He just stared at the flashing cursor and thought hard about what to do next. If the Winchesters were going to have a permanent residence, which state should it be in? The first place that popped into Dean's head was Kansas, of course. It was his and Sam's birthplace; the location of their original home. And idea of raising his own son there made Dean feel proud and peaceful. The man finally brought his fingers to the keyboard and typed in 'house listings Kansas.'

A few real estate websites came up and Dean just clicked on a random link. It took him to a long list of homes for sale throughout Kansas, each one giving a picture, an address, a small description, and a price. And, holy shit, where those prices high. A four bedroom, two bathroom house in Park City – which was roughly the size Dean was going for – was on the market for a whopping $170,000. The most expensive thing Dean had ever bought was a transmission for the Impala when he was rebuilding her. The thing ran him just over a thousand dollars and he swore he would never sink that much money into anything else unless he absolutely had to. But $170,000? That was literally a lifetime commitment!That would take years and years to pay off! And Dean didn't even have a real job!

Dean kept scrolling down the list trying to find a house that was just as big but for less money, but all the houses were about the same price, if not higher. The more he looked through the beautiful homes with car garages and swing sets in the backyard, the more his heart sank. Son of a bitch. Why did they have to be so damn expensive? There was no way he could afford any of them; not without trying to quit the old family business. And that was a hard thing to do, especially when half the family was made up of angels...

A couple of loud knocks came from the motel door.

At the unexpected sound, Dean's hand sprang up to clutch the pistol in his waistband. Protecting his family from intruders had become an instinctual reflex. The oldest Winchester abandoned the computer on the kitchen counter and walked back into the main room to see what was going on. Jude and Jessica were sitting quietly and watching Sam, who had already gotten up from the table and stepped over to look through the peephole. Whoever was outside must not have been a threat, because Sam quickly unlocked the door and pulled it open.

“I hope you fellas know the Impala's double-parked,” Bobby grumbled as he breezed passed Sam to come inside.

Jude and Jessica both gasped out loud when the old man walked into view. The toddlers shouted 'Uncle Bobby' in unison and scrambled out of their seats to run toward him. A smile appeared just underneath Bobby's beard when his legs were attacked with hugs. Dean watched the happy exchange from the end of Sam and Gabe's bed, enjoying the sight of their reunion.

“Hey, lil' rascals,” the old man cooed, patting Jude and Jessie's heads, “I've got some stuff for ya.”

Bobby pulled a matchbox car out of one pocket and a small plushy kitten from the other before holding them out to the kids. Jude and Jessica ecstatically took their new gifts and looked them over with wondrous eyes while Bobby beamed at them from above.

“What do you say?” Sam prompted to the kids.

“Thank you, uncle Bobby!” Jude and Jess sang together.

“You're welcome,” Bobby replied.

The old man paused to turn around and give a short whistle toward the open door, which summoned his three dogs. Peter, Willy, and Humphrey all pranced inside and raced to the toddlers where they jumped up to lick their faces. Jude and Jess both giggled and pet the dogs, seeming overjoyed that Bobby had chosen to bring them along. Although Dean was glad to see the old man again, his visit was kind of a surprise. Why he show up instead of calling? While the kids were distracted with the dogs, Dean edged closer to speak to him.

“Bobby, what are you doing here, man? Did you seriously drive here all the way from South Dakota?” Dean asked.

“No, I flew on the back of a unicorn,” Bobby muttered sarcastically, “'course I drove here. I wanted to see how things were comin' along with the portal.”

“Uh, well, Gabe and Cas haven't even gotten all of the pieces yet,” Sam mentioned, walking up to join the discussion.

“If you had just called, we could have told you all of this over the phone and you wouldn't have wasted all that time and gas to get here,” Dean muttered.

Bobby sighed heavily as he glanced around the cluttered motel room in disappointment and frustration. Dean could tell that the old man was pissed that this was taking so long, but why? Why was Bobby so eager to have this stupid portal completed? What did he have to gain from a trip to hell? Was he trying to get someone out? Was he trying to put someone in?

“How much longer is it gonna take?” Bobby questioned, his tone severe.

“We're not sure, Bobby,” Sam answered, “I mean, once Gabe and Cas get the stuff we need, we can start building it, but we don't even know where we're going to put -”

“My garage,” Bobby interrupted, “Tell 'em to build it in my garage, near the back.”

Dean shared a brief look of surprise and concern with his younger brother. Bobby wanted them to put a portal to hell in his garage? Did he understand how dangerous that would be? If the demons found out about it, they would be using that thing like a highway! This was ridiculous. Dean couldn't stand all this shady behavior from Bobby and being away from his angel. He wanted answers, dammit!

“Bobby,” Dean began, lowering his voice so that the kids wouldn't hear, “Cas is out there somewhere helping you right now. He's not gonna get to tuck our son into bed tonight. Gabe probably won't get to kiss Jessica good morning either. We are sacrificing precious moments to help you, so I think the least you could do is tell us why you want to build this portal.”

The look on Bobby's face was indescribable. His gray eyes were rich with some kind of emotion and his lips were tucked together beneath his beard. Dean hoped that his words weren't too harsh. He just wanted Bobby to understand how he was feeling and urge the old man to explain his plight. After glancing at the giggling toddlers a few feet away, Bobby slowly nodded his head.

“Alright,” he breathed, sounding defeated, “Can we go some place more private?”

“Uh, yeah. Let's go in the kitchen. I'll put on some cartoons for the kids,” Sam offered.

While Dean led Bobby into the other room, Sammy stayed behind to turn on the motel TV and flip to something kid friendly. Jude, Jessica, and all of the dogs – including Dickie, who was carrying his fancy moose around – all piled up on the floor in front of the screen to watch a late night rerun of Sesame Street. In the meantime, Dean quickly closed the laptop on the counter and hovered near the sink with Bobby. The old man kept his head down until Sam joined them, blocking his face with the bill of his hat. He seemed ashamed for some reason, like he was afraid of explaining himself. Sam and Dean both crossed their arms and stared at their father figure with comforting expressions, wanting to help him get it out.

“So, what's the story, Bobby?” Sam softly urged.

Bobby took a small breath and stuffed his hands into his pockets before finally raising his head. Dean could see a small hint of red on the old man's cheeks beneath his beard when he started talking.

“Well... For the past few years... Ever since the babies were born,” Bobby began, having to force the words out, “I've, uh... I've sort of been seeing Crowley a lot...”

“Seeing him? You mean like, working with him and stuff?” Dean asked.

Bobby's face reddened even more.

“No,” he denied, lowering his head again, “I mean seeing him... you know?”

“He keeps popping in on you or something?” Sam questioned.

Bobby huffed a breath of frustration and rolled his eyes.

“No, dammit,” he growled, “He just... He and I are... We're sorta goin' out.”

Dean narrowed his eyes, unsure if he heard the old man correctly. Going out? Did Bobby mean dating? Was he dating a demon? Was Bobby seriously in a relationship with the king of hell?! No, that couldn't be right...

“Uh, I'm sorry, but could you repeat that?” Dean asked.

“What, do I have to spell it out for you?” Bobby hissed, his face glowing bright, “Crowley and I have got this thing going on, okay? I don't know what it is exactly. We're more than friends, but neither of us wants to admit it. He leaves supplies layin' around for me, I leave notes layin' around for him. We meet up, we talk, we drink, we play with the dogs, we watch old western movies together...”

“So, you're a couple?” Sam concluded, sounding just as shocked as Dean.

“I guess so,” Bobby shrugged, nudging his boot against the base of the counter, “I mean, I enjoy his company and all. It's nice seein' him when he swings by. And I thought things were goin' pretty well between us... Up until a few months ago...”

“What happened?” Dean asked.

“I don't know. He just stopped comin' to the house,” the old man replied, “The last time I saw him, we said our usual goodbyes and he left on a good note. But I haven't seen or heard from him since.”

“Is there a chance he just got too busy?” Sam suggested.

Bobby gave a halfhearted chuckle and shook his head.

“Trust me, boy. He would have left me some kinda warnin' if he wasn't gonna be around,” Bobby said, “No, I think somethin' bad happened. I can't prove nothin', but I've got a feelin' that something's goin' on in hell. I've tried gettin' a hold of Crowley several times, even went as far as tryin' to summon him, but he never showed. That's why I need to open this portal. I've gotta see if the ol' bat is still alive, so I can start sleepin' again at night.”

“Okay. Let me get this straight,” Dean began, trying to settle the buzzing thoughts in his head, “You've been dating a demon for three years without anyone knowing, he recently went missing without a trace, and now you're going to build a portal to hell just to go down there see if he's okay?”

“Yeah. That about sums it up,” Bobby nodded.

Dean wasn't sure how to feel about all of this information. He was glad that Bobby had finally found love again and all – but with Crowley? Couldn't he have picked a less monstrous suitor? One that didn't smell like sulfur or regularly collect souls, maybe? As disturbing as the idea was, Dean couldn't bring himself to mention it out loud. Bobby sounded so happy when he talked about Crowley. And the thought of old man actually sitting down, watching an old western movie with someone, and being genuinely content made Dean feel glad. It had been so long since Bobby had someone in his life that he could hang out and do romantic things with; to be loved by someone in a way the Winchesters couldn't provide. Dean liked the thought of Bobby getting spoiled with affection the same way Cas always spoiled him...

“Huh,” Dean muttered, smiling a little, “Then... It looks like we're going back to hell.”

Bobby met eyes with the oldest Winchester and gave him a look of confusion.

“We?” he asked.

“Yeah. Sam and I are gonna go with you for backup, right Sammy?” Dean said, tossing his brother a subtle wink.

“Uh, yes,” Sam carefully agreed, “Once the portal is done, I'm sure Gabe and Cas won't mind watching the kids for a little while. We're just going down there to check on Crowley, right?”

“Yeah. As soon as I lay eyes on him and know he's alright, we'll high-tail it back outta there,” Bobby promised.

“Then it's set,” Dean nodded, “We'll all go down there together when it's finished and make sure your demon buddy is alive.”

An overwhelming look of humbleness and admiration suddenly flashed across Bobby's face. The old man cleared his throat a bit and hid his glistening eyes under the bill of his hat as he stepped forward to wrap both Winchesters into a large hug. Dean gently patted Bobby's back a few times as he shared a brief look with Sammy behind him. It seemed like Bobby was honestly touched by their willingness to go with him into a dangerous situation. But Dean didn't mind at all to help the old man. If going to hell to check on Crowley made Bobby happy, Dean would do it a hundred times...

“I appreciate this, boys. Y'all don't know what it means to me,” Bobby mumbled, sounding like he was tearing up.

“Sure, Bobby,” Dean said, carefully easing out of the hug, “Why don't you get a room at this motel tonight? Whenever the angels come back, we can all fly to your house.”

“Sounds good. I'm exhausted anyway,” Bobby agreed.

The three of them slowly made their way back into the main room where the kids were watching TV. Bobby silently motioned for his dogs to follow and practically tip-toed to the door, probably trying to keep Jude and Jess from noticing him leave. The three small dogs wiggled out of a pile on the floor and obeyed their master, following him toward the door. Sam lingered behind to stay with the toddlers while Dean walked Bobby out. Ice cold wind whipped around the dark parking lot so Dean quickly snapped the door shut behind him to keep the warmth inside.

“Do you have enough money for a room and everything?” he asked Bobby.

“Yeah, I'll be fine,” Bobby promised.

Dean noticed that the old man was staring at him like he wanted to say something else. Bobby's mouth hung open for the longest time, as if he was on the verge of spitting it out.

“What?” Dean pressed.

“I... I know it's none of my business,” Bobby began, bracing his shoulder against the chilly breeze, “but were you lookin' at houses?”

Dean blinked and shivered in the cold. How the hell did Bobby know that he was looking at houses? The question must have been written on his face because the old man continued.

“I saw it on the computer,” he explained, “I didn't mean to spy on you or nothin', I just -”

“It's okay,” Dean assured, shaking his head, “You can probably tell by the state of our motel room that we need to get our own place. I just looked through some listings to see if we could afford to buy a house but, uh, I don't think we can swing it. I just... I really want Jude to grow up in a real home, you know? He needs stability.”

“Does it have to be a house?” Bobby blurted.

Dean gave the old man a strange look. It seemed like Bobby had something on his mind that he wasn't sharing. Was there a certain place that he knew about? How could a place be a home if it wasn't a house? Although he was confused, Dean shrugged his shoulders.

“Uh... I guess not,” he mumbled, “I just want everyone to have their own room, you know? A place with lots of bathrooms. And a gigantic kitchen. And a car garage... Sounds like a ridiculous daydream, right?”

Bobby's gray eyes twinkled with a warm glow as he shook his head.

“Not at all, son,” he replied, suddenly looking smug, “Let me know when the angels come back. I'll be in one of these rooms.”

“Okay. Goodnight,” Dean said, watching the old man walk away with his dogs.

Dean had a weird feeling in the pit of his stomach. Why did Bobby look so pleased with himself? And what did it have to do with finding a place to stay? Even though he had a ton of questions to ask, he turned around and went back into his own motel room to escape the cold. The warm air and familiar scent of waxy crayons comforted him when he came back inside.

During the few moments Dean was gone, Sam had turned the TV off and ushered the kids toward the beds. Sammy was looking at his phone, but the toddlers had each claimed their stuffed animals – Jude with his bee and Jess with her bunny – and were sitting together, munching on some carrots. When Jude saw his daddy come back inside, he carefully crawled off the bed and walked over to stretch his arms up, wanting to be held. Dean instantly picked up his little boy and kissed him on the cheek.

“What did uncle Bobby bring you, little man?” he asked.

“A race car,” Jude answered, digging around in his pocket to get it out and hold it up, “Look, Daddy, the doors open too!”

“That's so cool,” Dean praised, enjoying his child's excitement.

While Jude smiled and played with his new toy car, Dean looked up to see why the rest of the room was so quiet. Jessica was silently blinking up at Sam nearby, who was giving his phone a bizarre look. The guy was staring hard at the screen like he was unsure of what he was seeing.

“What's the matter, Sam?” Dean asked.

Sammy eventually raise his head to acknowledge his brother, but his face was still skewed with bewilderment.

“Gabe just sent me a weird text message...” he answered.

Chapter Text

Sam's eyes raced across his cell phone screen several times, absorbing the weird text message from his beloved archangel. The seven words glowing in his palm instantly put him on edge.

Meet me at the park. Bring Jessica.

The tone of Gabe's voice was hard to decipher from just reading a few written words. Why exactly did he want to meet at the park at nine o'clock at night? Did Gabe want to have a friendly meeting there? Was this a desperate call of love? Did the archangel need to see Sam and Jessica before carrying on with his work or something? If that was the case, why didn't he just show up at the motel? Maybe this was something darker. What if something bad had happened? What if Gabriel needed to meet Sam at the park because he was in trouble? But then, why would he ask Sam to bring Jessica along? A million questions and theories flashed through Sam's mind in the span of five seconds.

“What's the matter, Sam?”

Sam looked up from his phone at the sound of his brother's concerned voice. He wasn't exactly sure how to explain what he was looking at or how he was feeling, but he knew that Dean might be able to help.

“Gabe just sent me a weird text message...” Sam breathed.

The younger brother held his phone out to the older, silently asking him to look at it. Dean, who had been holding Jude by the entrance, carefully lowered his son to the floor before striding over to take the phone and give it a glance. Sam watched his brother's eyebrows knit with equal confusion. It seemed like all the same thoughts Sam had were racing through Dean's mind, too.

“The park?” he read out loud, “Oh, God. Don't tell me he wants you to meet him there just so you can have sex.”

“What? Ugh, no. He wouldn't have told me to bring Jessica if he wanted to do that,” Sam pointed out.

“Then, maybe he just wants to see you guys,” Dean shrugged, handing the phone back.

“I'm pretty sure he would have flown here if he wanted to see us,” Sam assumed, trying to figure it out, “Why do you think he wants to meet at the park?”

“Hmm. Good question. Why don't you just text him back and ask him?” Dean suggested.

Sam gave a quick nod and brought his thumbs to the keyboard on his phone. Why didn't he think of texting him back to begin with? He quickly typed out 'Why?' before pressing send. In the meantime, Sam noticed that Jessica had climbed up to stand on the bed. Her white bunny was tucked under her left arm and she was clinging to Sam's sleeve with her free hand, seeming interested in what was going on. Sam gave her a reassuring smile as he waited to hear back from Gabriel.

“Is it Papa?” she asked, sounding hopeful.

“Yeah, it's Papa,” Sam answered, curling some of her loose blonde hair behind her tiny ear.

The man was able to see the underlying excitement in his daughter's beautiful eyes just before his text alert noise 'dinged' again. Sam and Dean both looked down at the screen in his hand to read the new message from Gabriel.

I want to see you before I leave.

Sam blinked at his phone in surprise. Leave? Why was he leaving? Where was he going? Dean shrugged and patted Sam on the shoulder, looking proud of himself.

“See? Told you,” he said.

“But, where is he going?” Sam blurted, feeling his heart sink.

“Cas said they had to go to India for some spices or whatever. Didn't I tell you that?” Dean replied.

“No,” Sam breathed sadly.

“Well... Cas and Gabe are going to India for some spices. There. Now you know,” Dean grinned with a wink.

Sam rolled his eyes. Dean could be such a smart-ass sometimes. Instead of continuing the conversation with his brother, Sam turned his attention back to the phone in his hand. He really wanted to know why Gabe wanted to meet at the park instead of the motel. The man quickly typed 'Why the park?' and pressed send before glancing at his little girl. Jess was practically jumping up and down on the bed, trying to steal a quick peek at the screen as if she thought she would see Gabe there.

“What's he saying, Daddy?” she asked.

Before Sam could answer her question, his phone 'dinged' again. Gabe's reply popped up on the screen just beneath his own message.

It's a surprise.

A long sigh fled Sam's mouth. Oh, great. A surprise? From the trickster? That couldn't be good. Dean – who apparently couldn't stop himself from reading the messages over Sam's shoulder – gave a quiet chuckle and shook his head.

“Twenty bucks says the surprise is his dick,” Dean mumbled under his breath toward Sam.

Sam shot his brother a mild glare.

“He specifically asked for Jessica, Dean,” Sam grumbled, “I doubt that's the surprise.”

“A surprise?!” Jessica gasped, her eyes widening with happiness as she bounced on the bed again, “I wanna see, Daddy! I wanna see!”

Sam adored the sight of his little girl's excitement. She looked so much like her angelic father when she smiled like that, with eyes that sparkled and cheeks that caved in with dimples. Sam could see Gabriel so clearly in his daughter's face, in her grinning lips and bouncing blonde curls...

“Okay. Go get your coat, Jessie,” Sam instructed, picking her up from the bed to stand her on the floor.

A few of her giggles echoed through the motel room as she dashed to the table to tug her rainbow coat from the back of a chair. In the meantime, Sam glanced over at his brother and held out his hand.

“Can I borrow the car?” he asked.

Dean rolled his eyes – probably still under the impression that Gabriel was just making a booty call – but eventually dug around in his own pockets for the keys and tossed them at his brother. Sam smiled and caught them as he slid into his own jacket.

“Just... don't do anything gross in it, okay?” Dean grumbled, looking sick already.

“We are not going to have sex, dammit,” Sam hissed back, low enough so the kids wouldn't hear.

Jessica skipped merrily back to her daddy and wiggled both of her arms in the air, wanting to be picked up again. Sam noticed that Dickie was by their side when he scooped his daughter into his arms. The little bow-tie-wearing hump-machine was eagerly following them around as if he already knew that they were going to meet his owner. He pranced directly behind Sam as the man made his way toward the door.

“Bye bye, Jude,” Jessica smiled as she waved at her cousin.

Jude, who had been playing with his new matchbox car, waved back at her from the end of Dean and Cas's bed. Sam gave him a wink too before finally stepping out into the cold night air. Most of the snow had melted during the day, but the temperature was still pretty low. Sam quickly got Jessica into her car seat and strapped her in while Dickie hopped up to curl into a shivering ball. Once everyone was safe in the Impala, Sam started her up and backed out of the parking lot. He made sure to adjust the rear-view mirror so that he could see Jessie behind him.

During the twenty minute trip to the park, Sam silently tried to figure out what Gabe's surprise could be. Did he get something for Jessica? Why would he want to meet at the park to give it to her, though? Was it something that might make Jude jealous? Was it a new bike? Maybe it wasn't a gift. Maybe Gabe just wanted to show them something. Or just be alone with his little family for a while. Whatever the reason was, Sam knew one thing for sure. Dean was wrong. Gabriel did not want to meet up to have sex... Did he? Now that Sam thought about it, the guy was the trickster, after all. Oh God, maybe he did want to have sex. Although the thought of finally getting to bang Gabriel was glorious, Sam tried his best to dismiss it. They couldn't do that stuff when Jessie was around.

Half way to their destination, Sam stole a quick glance in the mirror to see that Jessica and Dickie had both fallen asleep in the backseat. The warmth of the Impala's heater must have overpowered them. A smile spread on Sam's face as he studied Jessica's closed eyes and blonde hair in a messy ponytail. The sight of her sleeping peacefully reminded him of all those restless nights they shared when she was just an infant. She would wake up at one or two in the morning and let out a small lady-like cry to let everyone know that she needed something. Sam and Gabe were always able to sooth her and get her back to sleep with a few hushed words and a lullaby. Even now, it was easy to put her to sleep. And, God, she was so beautiful when she was asleep; like a living sculpture of an angel, perfect in every way. Sam loved his daughter so much...

The public park was dark and vacant, just as Sam expected. There was only one lit streetlight shining down on the parking lot, so Sam pulled the Impala into the space directly under it and shut the car off, hoping that Gabriel would be able see them there. The man glanced out of the windows of the car to scan the place for his angel. The playground equipment was eerily still in the lack of light. The forest of trees that surrounded the area was even darker; tickling the sky with jagged branches in the wind. The usually joyful and sunny place seemed creepy and unwelcoming in the dark. Hoping that Gabe was close by, Sam quickly got out his cell phone and brought up his and Gabe's text conversation.

'We're here. Where are you?' he typed and sent.

While he waited for a reply, Sam glanced into the rear-view mirror again. Dickie was contorted into a weird position in the seat and snoring quietly, obviously comfortable and relaxed. Jessica's weary head was propped up against the edge of her car seat and her mouth had fallen open. The two of them looked so cute that Sam briefly considered taking a picture of them with his phone, but he decided against it. He didn't want to accidentally wake them up. Instead, Sam's phone gave a quiet 'ding' in his hand, to which he quickly looked down to see Gabe's new message.

Come to the brick bathroom. Bring Jessica.

Sam blinked down at the screen in wonder. The brick bathroom? Really? The same one they got caught trying to have sex in a few days before? Sam glanced out of his own window to see the building a few yards away. The place was relatively visible in the dark. Another small streetlight was glowing near the entrance, but it was flickering between dim and bright. Sam exhaled softly, half from annoyance and half from disbelief. Why did Gabe want him to bring Jessica to the bathroom? Was this some kind of weird hide-and-seek thing? Did he decorate the inside of it or something? Why was he doing this? Although Sam was confused and leery, he decided to trust his archangel anyway. Gabriel always had a plan, especially when it involved Jessica.

The man quietly got out of the car and rounded to the backseat to get his daughter. Jessica stayed peacefully asleep even as Sam unbuckled the straps on her car seat and carefully scooped her out. Her small head gently rested against his shoulder when he picked her up, and Sam quickly covered it with the colorful hood of her coat to keep the wind from chilling her face. Dickie didn't even move a muscle as Sam got her out, so he left the little dog in the car. The door shut quietly and Dickie stayed asleep in the back.

Once he had Jessie in his arms, Sam made his way across the parking lot and toward the brick building. The entire area was deathly silent except for the looming whisper of a cold breeze. Jessica was warm and limp against Sam's chest and he was kind of grateful, because the darkness of the playground probably would have scared her if she was awake. Hell, it was even starting to make Sam a bit worried. Why would Gabriel choose to have a surprise meeting here? Why didn't he just have it back at the warm, brightly-lit motel room? Geez, this place was giving Sam the creeps...

It didn't take long for Sam to get to the bathroom. Once he finished the trek to the entrance, he looked around the building, hoping to see his blonde archangel loitering nearby. But, Gabriel was nowhere to be seen. Sam held Jessica tight in one arm and pushed open the bathroom doors with the other, peeking inside to see if Gabe was there. But both small rooms were dark and empty. Sam huffed a breath of frustration as he walked back out to stand under the flickering streetlight. This was ridiculous. Where the hell was his archangel? And why the hell did he want to meet here?

“Hello?” Sam quietly called into the night, still looking around, “Gabriel, if this is some kind of joke, it's not fun -”

Sam's voice got stuck in his throat as he turned around to see three pairs of eyes staring back at him. Three people were suddenly standing in front of the entrance of the brick building in a semicircle, two women and a man with blank faces and glassy eyes. The unexpected sight of them made Sam flinch in surprise and reach for his waistband. He instantly grabbed his pistol and whipped it out to point at them, wanting to protect his sleeping daughter from whoever these people were.

“Relax, Sam,” the woman in the middle said gently, raising both hands in surrender, “We just want to talk.”

“Who the hell are you?” Sam hissed, curling Jessica tighter against his chest, “Where is Gabriel?”

“He is with Castiel. In India,” she replied, her tone mellow and disconnected, “He has no knowledge of this encounter. You can put the gun away, Sam. We didn't call you here to hurt you.”

As Sam stood with his weapon trembling in his hand and his eyes fixed on the suited people in front of him, everything suddenly became clear. He had walked into a trap. Gabriel never sent him any text messages tonight. Sam had been talking to these people. And from the looks of their suits and bland faces, they were angels. Sam's mind tried to catch up with his rapidly beating heart as he stared at the creatures before him. Dammit! He had brought Jessica with him! She was in harm's way, too! God, he was so stupid! The female angel in the middle of the group took a small step forward and Sam instantly pointed his gun at her.

Don't come any closer,” he warned breathlessly.

In the back of his mind, Sam knew that a pistol wouldn't hurt the angels at all. What he really needed was an angel blade, but the closest one was in the trunk of the Impala a few yards away. The thought of praying to Gabriel briefly crossed Sam's mind – but he couldn't bring himself to do it. There were three other angels here that were probably armed. If Gabriel showed up now, he would be outnumbered and overpowered by them instantly, and Sam didn't want to put him in danger too. The only option Sam had left was to figure out a way to talk himself through this situation. And he knew he had to be quick and clever about it, because his daughter's life was literally resting in his hands.

“What do you want?” Sam demanded in a harsh tone, locking his arm around his sleeping toddler.

“We only want to talk,” she answered calmly.

“Then start talking,” Sam spat, carefully taking a step back.

He noticed that the woman's eyes flickered toward Jessica's back as she took a deep breath. She met Sam's stare afterward and put on a comforting look.

“Your daughter is very beautiful,” she complimented, making Sam's skin crawl, “She has your intelligence and fast reflexes. She has Gabriel's strength and wit. The two of you have made a precious life together and have given her a wonderful start... But Jessica will require more than just love and support in this life, Sam. She is the daughter of an archangel – the highest ranking nephilim to ever come into being. And she is very rare, because she is the first of her kind. No other archangel in existence has ever bred with a human before. Not Michael. Not Raphael. Not even Lucifer. Gabriel is the only one to have ever produced an offspring with one of our father's creations.”

Sam's throat quivered with a hard gulp as stole a quick glance at the side of Jessica's face hidden just underneath her rainbow hood. He never really took the time to consider all of that before, but he guessed the lady was right. Jessica probably was the only human-archangel baby to ever be born. But why did that matter? She was a perfectly healthy and smart little girl. As if she heard Sam's unasked question, the female angel kept talking.

“We know you are raising her in the best way you can, Sam,” she continued, “but there are some things that you simply cannot offer her. I'm sure she has already done some things that you could not understand. Perhaps asked you some questions that you've been unable to answer...”

The air escaped Sam's lungs as he felt his heart plummet. He was suddenly recalling that morning in the motel kitchen when Jessica looked up at him with confusion in her eyes and softly muttered, 'What's a mommy?' The anguish and pure heartbreak he felt when he heard that question was back with a vengeance, burning in his chest like acidic fire. He felt like such a failure. He was such a failure... The female angel carefully opened both of her arms, standing in a welcoming position in front of Sam's pistol.

“Let her come with us, Sam,” she offered, sounding so sincere, “We can raise her in heaven, where she belongs. She can learn to develop her grace alongside other angels and become the powerful nephilim she was meant to be. I can promise that your child will be safe and grow up in the best way possible, surrounded by all the glorious benefits that only heaven can provide. We can give her a better life than the one she is burdened with here.”

Sam's eyes filled with moisture, blurring the lady's face. A single hot tear raced down his cheek as he tried to swallow the large mass of emotion in his throat. Deep down, Sam knew that the woman was right. There were some things Jessica needed that he and Gabe couldn't offer her, and one of those things was a mother; an older female figure that she could look up to, who could provide her with better answers to her questions. For a brief moment, as he stared at the well-meaning woman in the flickering streetlight, Sam actually considered giving his daughter away. If handing her over meant that she would have a better life than one he could provide her – one with an actual home, and mother, and other angels that could teach her better than he could – then, shouldn't he do it? Sam didn't want to deprive his child of anything that would benefit her. He wanted her to have the safest, happiest, most blessed life possible, even if that life didn't involve him. He wanted to give Jessica her best chance.

But then, as Sam glanced down to see one of Jessica's blonde curls sticking out from underneath her rainbow hood, he realized what a stupid decision that would be. Jessica belonged to Gabriel. She belonged to Sam. It was better for her to grow up in a cramped motel room and know that she was loved by both of her parents than to grow up in heaven and wonder why her parents gave her away. After seeing Jess's golden strand of hair dance in the breeze, Sam knew that he had to keep his daughter. Not out of a selfish need to have her, but for her own sake. Jessica needed to grow up knowing how much she was loved. Sam wanted to tell her – and show her – every single day how much he loved her and make sure she got a kiss from Gabe every morning. Jessica had the right to play with Jude whenever she wanted, and paint her uncles' faces with makeup, and chase Dickie around with squealing laughter. Jessica deserved a life full of love and family, and Sam was going to make sure she got it.

Although he had made the decision to keep his child, Sam knew that the angels weren't going to take no for an answer. They were still staring at him with bold and unforgiving eyes, waiting to hear him say the word. As he stood in the flickering streetlight, Sam quickly tried to come up with a plan. He really needed to get Jessica out of here as fast as possible, and the only way to do that was to wake her up and tell her to fly away. But first, he had to trick the angels into thinking he was going to give his child to them, if only for a moment, so that he could get Jessica to safety. The man carefully lowered his gun and sniffled a little, trying to clear his eyes of fluid.

“Just, uh... Just let me say goodbye,” he said lowly, forcing his own voice to crack a little for effect.

The woman in the middle nodded and took a small step back to stand with the other angels, giving Sam a moment of privacy with his daughter. Once they were far enough away, Sam turned to the side a bit and reached up to uncover Jessica's head. Her messy blonde ponytail instantly sprang out with the breeze, tossing her sweet scent into the air. Sam gently shook her awake as he stole cautious glances back at the angels a few feet away.

“Jessica,” he whispered, “Jessie, wake up.”

The little girl's eyes slowly blinked open and she raised her small head. She let out a tiny yawn when she looked up at Sam's face in question. Jessica was obviously confused about where she was and what was going on.

“Daddy? Why are you crying?” she asked, sounding upset.

Sam quickly pressed his lips to the side of her head. He swaddled her close in the cold wind of the park, wanting to comfort her and keep her calm.

“Listen to me, Jess,” Sam whispered against her small ear, “You need to fly back to uncle Dean right now, okay? Fly back to our room and be with uncle Dean and Jude.”

“But, where is Papa?” she asked, shaking her head out of his grasp to look around.

Sam was unable to keep her from seeing the few angels standing nearby. He figured that Jessica would ask him who the people were and why they were here – but when Jess laid eyes on the angels, she gasped in utter terror. Sam could see pure horror on his child's face.

“The scary people,” she cried, reaching up to cling to Sam's neck and shoulders, “It's the people with the mean faces, Daddy! No! Don't let them take me away!”

Goosebumps freckled Sam's skin as he glanced between his daughter and the angels. Jessica had said those words before – a few days ago, when she woke up from a nightmare in the Impala. Did she dream this already? Were these angels the scary people that she saw? Jessica practically scrambled up Sam's torso in fear with glistening eyes fixed on the angels. The group of three had already started to inch closer, seeming to have caught on to Sam's plan. Sam quickly gathered his arms around his child, trying to keep her from wiggling out of his grip.

“Jessica, it's alright,” he promised in a whisper, making her look him in the eye, “Daddy won't let them take you. But you've got to fly away, okay? You've got to -”

“It's time, Sam,” the woman angel said.

Sam's heart was hammering against his ribcage when he looked over to see the lady standing with her arms outstretched. The three of them were steadily walking closer and Jessica was still in Sam's grasp, too afraid to fly away. Sam briefly thought about running, but he knew he wouldn't make it very far. Jessica needed to go! She needed to get away!

But then, the little girl suddenly stopped wiggling in his arms. Sam looked down at her, wondering why she seemed so calm all of the sudden. She was staring back up at him and her usually emerald-copper eyes looked sort of golden, now. They were shiny and glowing, filling up the space between them with light. Sam blinked down at his glowing child in shock, watching her give him a small smile.

“It's okay, Daddy,” she said quietly, “Papa told me what to do.”

The three angels were converging on them, reaching out for the little girl within arms' length – when Jessica raised her hand and snapped her tiny fingers together. The three life-sized beings in front of Sam and Jess suddenly exploded with light, bursting into glowing and shimmering bombs of sparkly dust. Sam flinched at the echoing sound, unable to turn away from the small blast. He and Jess were promptly covered in the aftermath of purple glitter, showered with remnants of shiny specks floating to the ground. The three angels were completely gone. The only evidence that they had been there at all were the three small piles of purple glitter on the sidewalk.

For a second, Sam couldn't even move. He just held onto his child and blinked into the night, shocked beyond words. Holy shit. Jessica just turned three fully-grown angels into glitter, just like Gabe told her to. And now the two of them were covered in the stuff! Jessica, whose eyes were back to their normal shade of green and brown swirls, smiled as she looked down at the shiny dust on her rainbow coat.

“I did it,” she grinned, “I got rid of the bad guys, Daddy!”

“Y – yes you did,” Sam breathed, trying to gulp down his surprise.

The man took a few seconds to gather himself while he stared at the piles of glitter on the ground. Now that the place was safe, Sam desperately needed to see his archangel again.

Gabe,” Sam hissed in a prayer, briefly covering Jessica's ears as he glanced toward the sky, “Gabriel, get your candy ass over here right now.”

A few moments of silence ticked by, during which Sam tried to shake the glitter out of his daughter's blonde hair, before Gabriel finally appeared. The archangel popped into the scene by the brick building, looking just as handsome and carefree as Sam remembered. The hems of his jacket sleeves looked like the were burnt off, probably from messing with molten lava. Once he flew to the park, Gabriel spun around in circles to find Sam. And when Gabe finally spotted his family a few feet away, his jaw dropped in utter surprise. Sam and Jessica must have looked like purple disco balls or something, because Gabe swallowed a chuckle as he raced over to them.

“Holy crap, what happened to you guys?” he asked, reaching up to inspect Jessica and Sam's faces, “Why are you out here this late at night? Are you having a confetti party without me?”

“Papa!” Jessica exclaimed, catapulting herself into Gabe's arms to hug him, “I did what you said! I turned the bad guys into glitter!”

The happiness fled Gabriel's face and was instantly replaced with worry. His golden eyes jumped back up to meet Sam's with concern.

“Bad guys? What is she talking about?” he asked.

“Angels,” Sam growled, still trembling on the inside, “Freakin' angels, Gabe! They wanted to take her!”

“Whoa, whoa, calm down -”

No, don't tell me to calm down! I can't calm down!” Sam denied, feeling his heart pound with anxiety.

Gabriel immediately reached out to grab Sam's arm and hum a soft 'shhhh,' which actually helped a little. Sam took a few easing breaths as he blinked down into the familiar amber shade of Gabe's eyes. The man didn't mean to yell at his archangel. He just didn't know how to deal with this sickening emotion boiling in his chest.

“It's okay, Sammy,” Gabe promised, “How did you guys get here?”

Sam took a few more breaths before pointing toward the Impala in the parking lot. The car was still positioned directly under the streetlight in the distance, housing Dickie, who was now standing up and watching them through the back window. Gabe gently tugged on Sam's arm as he stepped away, urging him to follow. Jessica clung to Gabe's neck and remained quiet on the way across the park, seeming glad to be in her papa's arms again. Sam stumbled along nervously, unsure of what Gabriel was trying to do.

“Papa and Daddy are going to talk for a minute, baby-bunny. Can you keep Dickie company until we're done? I think he's lonely,” the archangel hummed to his daughter.

“Uh-huh,” Jessie agreed, nodding her head.

“That's my girl,” Gabe smiled.

Sam stood by and watched Gabriel open the backdoor of the Impala to gently sit their daughter inside her car seat. Dickie ran over to lick her face afterward, giving her worried kisses. Jess giggled and pet the dog as Gabriel stood back up to close the door. He didn't shut it all the way; just enough to keep her from being able to hear her daddies' conversation. When Gabriel finally turned to face Sam again, he was wearing a genuinely concerned expression.

“Let's start at the beginning, kiddo. Tell me what happened,” he asked.

Sam immediately dug his phone out of his pocket.

“Angels. They – they sent me these messages,” he explained, holding out the evidence for Gabe to see, “I thought they were from you, so I brought Jessica here because I thought you had a surprise for her. And then – then they showed up and told me they wanted to take her and raise her in heaven because we couldn't give her what she needed, like a mother and teachers and stuff. But I didn't want to let her go, so I woke her up and told her to fly away. But when she woke up, she recognized them! She saw them in her nightmare a few days ago, Gabe! Our daughter had a premonition about this! And then she turned them into glitter like you told her to! Oh God, she killed them!”

“No, no. She didn't kill them,” Gabe denied, shaking his head, “She just destroyed their vessels... Man, that's hilarious. I would have loved to have seen the looks on their faces when she snapped her little fingers and -”

This isn't funny!” Sam shouted, grabbing hold of the front of Gabe's shirt to yank him close.

The man's harsh voice echoed through the empty parking lot and the trees beyond, making the smile flee his archangel's lips. Sam could see the confusion on Gabe's familiar face as the guy reached up to gently touch both of his hands.

“Sam, it's okay -”

“No, it's not okay, Gabriel!” Sam groaned, feeling tears refill his eyes, “They wanted to take our daughter! And I... I almost... I almost let them... I almost gave her away...”

Sam sobbed loudly and let himself fall against Gabriel's small frame. In that moment, Sam hated himself more than he ever did before. How could he ever think about giving his daughter away like that? To people that he didn't know, just because they fed him sweet-sounding words? Ugh, Sam was the worst parent in the world! He didn't deserve to be a father! Jessica deserved so much better than him!

Even though the weight of terrible thoughts burdened his mind, Sam still felt both of Gabriel's warm arms circle his torso. The archangel hugged the tall man tight against him, holding him in a comforting embrace.

“But, you didn't,” Gabriel reminded softly, his voice sounding so good against the silent parking lot, “She's sitting next to us right now, kid.”

Sam wanted to look at her, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. He knew that seeing her beautiful face again would only make him feel worse. He just clung to Gabriel and quietly cried on his shoulder instead. Gabe sighed and rubbed his hands up and down Sam's back while they hugged.

“Listen, Sam,” the archangel began, humming the words in Sam's ear, “I'm sure lots of parents have gone through something like this. I mean, maybe not with the angels and glitter and everything, but I'm sure they've all questioned themselves at one point or another. I'm no expert, but I think this is all part of being a parent, you know? Of course you thought about letting Jessica go with them. Heaven sounds like a pretty cool place for her to grow up. But when it came right down to it, you made the right choice, kiddo. You always do. That's how I know our little girl will only use her grace for good. Because she's got your good heart, Sam. Don't beat yourself up over a mistake that you didn't even make...”

A few more tears slid down Sam's glitter-covered cheeks as he carefully raised his head to look at Gabriel's face. The archangel was smiling as usual, searching Sam's eyes with hopefulness and warmth. Some of the glitter from Sam's clothes had transferred to Gabe's chin, so Sam slid his hands up to brush it away.

“You're... not mad at me?” he asked, wanting to make sure.

“Mad at you? Pshh. I'm more in-love with your big moose ass now than I ever was,” Gabe replied, sliding an arm down to grip a handful of Sam's ass,“ And that's really saying something. Because I've always been in love with your ass.”

A smile slowly spread across Sam's mouth as he stared down into Gabriel's gorgeous eyes. He was so grateful that Gabe didn't have any hard feelings toward him. It seemed like Gabriel had missed him just as much as he missed Gabriel. With another deep breath, Sam finally lowered his head to bring their lips together. This kiss was softer than usual; less sexual and more emotional. Sam pulled away after only a few seconds so that he could touch the rim of Gabe's sweet mouth with his thumb.

“Please tell me you don't have to leave again,” Sam almost begged.

“Nope. I don't have to go anywhere. Cassie and I are all finished,” Gabe grinned, “I told him to meet me back at the motel room when he got the rest of the spices... By the way, did you know that getting near lava will actually set your clothes on fire?” he asked, holding up his burnt sleeve, “Because I didn't. Cas had to chase me around with a fire extinguisher. I wish you could have seen it. You would have laughed your antlers off.”

Sam chuckled quietly and shook his head, imagining the hilarious scene in his mind. He would have loved to see Gabriel running around and flailing his arms like a maniac. The two of them smiled and held each other a little longer before Gabe nodded toward the Impala.

“What do you say we get our rabbit back to the motel and into a comfy bed?” he suggested.

“Sounds good,” Sam agreed.

Gabriel leaned up on the tips of his toes to smack another kiss to Sam's mouth before letting go to get into the passenger side of the Impala. Sam lingered outside for a second so that he could open the back door to see his daughter again. Jessica was still playing with Dickie, but looked up at her daddy when he leaned inside. With a heart full of emotion and a head full of sorrow, Sam bent down to cradle his daughter's head and give her forehead a meaningful kiss. He felt so bad for ever thinking of giving her away and wanted to show her that he still loved her with all of his heart.

“Daddy loves you, Jessica,” he reminded, hoping she wasn't upset with him.

Jessica reached up to hug Sam's neck with her short arms, burying her face into his shaggy hair.

“I love you too, Daddy,” she replied with a smile.

Chapter Text

When he watched in the Impala's taillights disappear through the window and carry Sam, Jessica, and Dickie away, Dean realized that he and Jude had the whole motel room to themselves. Everyone else was gone for once, leaving the place quiet, calm, and vacant except for the two of them. For a moment as he turned to stare down at his child, Dean wasn't sure what to do. Should he turn the TV back on? Should he dig a book out of Sam's bag and read to Jude for a while? Play with some of the toys? Share a late-night snack? Build a pillow fort? There were so many options to choose from now that they were alone. But after glancing up and down at his son's messy hair and dirty clothes, Dean figured that a bath was at the top of the list.

It wasn't very difficult to get Jude into the bathtub. All Dean had to do was add some bubbles to the warm water and the kid practically dove in. Dean sat in the floor next to the tub and watched his son splash around for awhile, secretly admiring how much the little boy looked like Cas when his hair was all wet and dark. Jude spent most of his time sailing plastic boats around in the suds and talking in a pirate voice. And Dean played with him; plunging his hand into the water and pretending to attack Jude's boat like a sea monster. The sound of his child's laughter echoing off the bathroom walls made Dean grin with pride. It was so nice to spend time alone with Jude. The only thing that could have made it better was if Cas came back early to be with them.

“Look, Daddy. Your hand is like a squid, 'cause a squid's got lots of legs,” Jude pointed out, holding Dean's sudsy hand up.

“That's right. They do,” Dean agreed, genuinely impressed by his kid's knowledge, “How did you know that?”

“Aquaman,” Jude replied simply.

Dean smiled again, glad that Jude's favorite comic book characters could teach him so many things. While Jude held onto his daddy's hand, Dean could feel that the little boy's tiny fingers were pruning up. Jude had been playing in the bath water for almost twenty minutes and his hair wasn't even washed yet. Dean crawled up to rest on his knees before pouring some shampoo into his palm and reaching out to gently scrub it into Jude's dark hair, cleaning the wet strands with a berry-blast smell.

“Daddy,” Jude said, glancing up at Dean with innocent blue eyes, “Where did Jessie and uncle Sammy go?”

“They went to go meet uncle Gabe somewhere,” Dean answered truthfully, as he started to rinse the thick lather back out of Jude's hair.

“Oh,” Jude mumbled, glancing around and looking hopeful, “... Can we go meet Papa somewhere?”

A smile flashed on Dean's face. It seemed like Jude was just as anxious to have Cas back as Dean was. Once the toddler's hair was clean, Dean carefully climbed to his feet and stepped over to grab a towel from the counter.

“I think Papa is going to meet us here later, Jude. He's got a lot of things to do right now,” Dean explained, “Hop up. Let's get you out of there.”

Although he seemed a little bummed about not being able to see his papa yet, Jude pulled himself up in the sudsy water. Dean wrapped the big fluffy towel around his wet child and plucked him out of the tub, making a quiet zoom noise as he 'flew' him to the counter. Jude giggled along the way, letting his pruney little toes dangle from under the towel. Once Jude was standing up on the counter next to the sink, Dean reached over to dig around inside his toddler's duffel bag. Jude only had three different pajama outfits to choose from. His parents always kept them clean and folded of course, so it didn't seem like a very big deal on the surface. But deep down, Dean knew his child needed more clothes. Hell, Jude needed more than just clothes. He needed an entire freaking house...

“Alright,” Dean said, trying to tear himself away from his own anxious thoughts, “Do you want the superheros, the checkers, or the bumble bees?” he asked, holding up the various pajamas.

“Bumble bees,” Jude answered without missing a beat.

Dean nodded as he tossed the other pajamas back into the bag. He had a strong feeling that Jude was going to pick the bees, because they reminded him of his papa and the poor kid was missing his papa a lot tonight. Dean made sure to towel off his toddler really well – including between his toes, behind his ears, and over his adorable little tushie, which he clearly inherited from Cas – before helping him put his night clothes on. When Jude was finally dressed and dry, Dean scooped him up again to carry him into the main room.

“What are we gonna do now, Daddy?” he asked.

“We can do whatever we want,” Dean answered with a grin, leaning over to set Jude down on the bed, “What do you want to do, little man?”

Jude didn't answer right away, because he was too busy yawning. His little mouth stretched wide open and he let out a tiny noise before smacking his lips and looking around.

“Eat,” Jude said simply.

Dean gave a small chuckle. Jude might have been born with a lot of Cas's traits, but he got just as many from Dean too. As he stared down at his son, the man remembered that he still had a little leftover pie in the fridge from the night before. And when it came to pie – the holiest of desserts – Jude definitely took after his daddy.

“Want some cherry pie?” Dean offered.

His child's eyes grew wide and he instantly nodded his head. The mere mention of it was enough to get Jude excited.

“Okay. Crawl under the covers and get comfortable and I'll get it for you,” Dean compromised.

Jude immediately dropped down to crawl toward the headboard where is stuffed bee was waiting. In the meantime, Dean turned to head into the kitchen. He could feel that the front of his shirt was damp from where he had gotten Jude out of the bathtub, so he simply yanked the fabric up over his head and tossed it away. Dean was subconsciously taking advantage of finally having a bit of privacy. As long as little girls and annoying brothers weren't around, Dean wasn't going to worry about his own decency. He stepped out of his pants in the kitchen too, stripping down to just his black boxer-briefs, necklace, and socks. It felt kind of nice to walk around in his underwear without fear of someone seeing. This was just another one of the many reasons Dean wanted his own place; so that he could walk around in his underwear whenever he wanted. It made him miss the old days when he and Cas first became intimate and all they did was lay around naked together...

Though he was feeling nostalgic, Dean cleared his mind in order to focus on getting his child a snack. He got the pie out of the fridge and popped it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up while he searched for a sippy cup. When he found one – and washed it out, because it had old juice in it – Dean filled it with milk and grabbed the pie out of the microwave. The man was wearing a comforting smile when he walked back into the main room to see Jude all snuggled up in bed with his stuffed bee. The little guy looked really excited, like a hungry puppy watching his food come closer. Geez, it was like looking into a mirror.

“Here you go, little man. One slice of gooey cherry pie,” Dean winked as he sat the warm plate on the blanket in front of his son.

“Daddy,” Jude said, raising his hand to point toward Sam and Gabe's messy bed, “Jessie left her bunny here.”

Dean glanced over at the vacant bed nearby to see the stuffed animal in question leaning up against one of the pillows. What made Jude notice it? Why did it matter if Jessica left her bunny behind? The man looked back down at his child and could see honest worry in his blue eyes.

“Yes she did,” Dean replied carefully.

“Can you give it to me? I want to keep it safe for her,” he squeaked, sounding concerned.

Dean was sort of confused by Jude's sudden change in demeanor. Why did he seem so anxious and worried? And what did Jessie's bunny have to do with it? Instead of questioning his child's motives, Dean just did as Jude asked. The man stepped over to Sam and Gabe's bed, grabbed Jessica's stuffed bunny, and walked back over to hand it to Jude. The little boy took it and ducked it under the blanket with his stuffed bee as he flashed a small glance toward the other side of the room. Once the toys were hidden, Jude finally picked up the fork and started eating some pie. Dean studied his child for a moment, wondering what he was doing. Was this some kind of weird angel thing? Or was it normal behavior for a toddler? Maybe it was nothing. Maybe Jude was more like Cas than Dean thought.

Once he was sure his kid was content, Dean stepped over to the motel table to dig around in his own duffel bag. He was hoping to find some fleece pants or at least an old t-shirt to wear to bed, so that he wouldn't look so naked when everybody else came back. For a few minutes, he sifted through a bunch of his own clothes – including the pair of pink panties that he had hidden in the bottom for special occasions with Cas – but couldn't find anything. The room was so quiet that Dean could hear his own breath and it was starting to bug him, so he decided to fill the void.

“Let's play the question game, Jude,” Dean suggested out loud, “Pie or cake?”

Dean waited to hear Jude say 'pie,' but it never came. Silence was the only reply he got. Dean eventually put his duffel bag down and turned around to see why Jude was so quiet – and saw that the little guy had burrowed himself into the bed. The half-eaten pie lay forgotten on the comforter and Jude was flat on his back with the covers pulled way up to his chin. His blue eyes were fixed on the window across the room and his face was pale; drained of color and emotion. Something was definitely wrong.

“Hey,” Dean called softly, instantly walking back over to the bed, “Jude, are you okay?”

Jude didn't speak. He didn't even shake his head. The kid just laid under the covers and quivered. Now that he was close enough, Dean could see the amount of pure fear painted on his child's face. Jude looked absolutely terrified for some reason; eyes large, eyebrows curved, cheeks white, bottom lip trembling. Jude was clinging to the top of the comforter with a death grip, as if it was a shield. And the sight made Dean's parental panic shoot through the roof.

“Jude,” Dean repeated, lowering himself to sit on the bed next to his son and reach out to him, “Buddy, what's wrong? Hey, look at Daddy. Jude, look at me.”

It took some gentle persuasion, but Jude's wide blue eyes eventually wandered over to look at Dean. Once they finally stared at each other, tears rose up in Jude's eyes. Dean felt like he was reliving the horrible gas station incident all over again. Jude was wearing the same disturbing look he wore when the gunfire stopped. He looked so damn afraid. But why?

“Talk to me, Jude. Tell me what's wrong,” Dean pleaded, desperate to know the answer.

Jude carefully lowered his tiny hands a bit, revealing the rest of his quivering mouth. His tiny voice was high and hollow when he finally spoke.

“The glowy man is here,” Jude breathed.

A chilly raced down Dean's entire spine, making the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. The glowy man? From the parade? Who exactly was the glowy man? And why was he here? Dean turned on the bed to scan the space, fearing that someone had broken into the motel room when he distracted. But no one was there. The door was still bolted shut and the windows were closed. No one could have gotten inside without him knowing.

“Where?” Dean asked, thinking he might be outside.

“B – by the door,” Jude answered under his breath, sounding scared.

Dean tightened his arm over his son as he zeroed his sight on the door, searching for anything out of the ordinary. But nothing was there. No footprints on the floor, no outline of an invisible creature, no misplaced objects. There was nothing. And it was starting to genuinely worry Dean – not because he couldn't see anything, but because Jude could. His child was seeing something scary but Dean couldn't do anything about it, because he couldn't see it!

“What is he doing, Jude?” Dean asked, keeping his eyes on the door.

“He's... staring at us,” Jude squeaked.

Dean gulped down his own fear and tried to figure out the best way to handle this situation. His first instinct was to grab the nearest gun and shoot in the general direction of the door, in the hope that he would either hurt or scare away whatever the 'glowy man' was. But after what happened at the gas station, Dean was hesitant to shoot guns around his child. Besides, someone else staying in the motel would probably alert the police if they heard gunfire anyway. The next option that popped into his head was using an angel blade. But again, he would have to randomly jab in the glowy man's general direction, and would probably end up doing more damage than good. Once his two main choices were trashed, Dean wasn't sure what to do. How could he protect his child from a creature that he couldn't even see?

“Daddy,” Jude whispered, sounding so scared, “He's coming closer.”

Panic burst through Dean's entire body. Shit! Shit! Whatever that thing was, it was coming closer to his child! Dean instantly leaned over Jude on the bed, wanting to protect him from whatever he couldn't see. But as he looked down at Jude's blinking blue eyes, Dean suddenly remembered something that Cas said over the phone. 'I have been attempting to teach Jude how to manage his grace – he has mastered how to form it in his hands and expel it, like throwing a ball.' Jude knew how to use his grace for combat. And if Jude could see the glowy man, that meant he could fight him, too...

“Jude,” Dean began, quickly lowering the comforter and scooping his son into his arms, “Do you remember what Papa taught you about your grace?”

Jude's blue eyes only flashed between Dean's face and the door behind him, still large and full of fright. Dean stood the little boy up on the bed and held onto his waist to stare up at him with encouragement.

“He taught you how to throw it, didn't he? He taught you how to ball it up and throw it?” Dean continued, trying to get the toddler to follow.

Although he looked scared to death, Jude clung to Dean's shoulders and carefully nodded his head.

“Good,” Dean praised, using the softest voice he could muster, “Now listen to me, son. I can't see the glowy man, but you can. So to scare him away, you need to throw your grace at him and -”

No,” Jude interrupted, shaking his head and biting his nails while tears oozed from the corners of his eyes, “I can't, Daddy. I'm too scared.”

“Yes you can, Jude. Because you're brave like Superman,” Dean reminded, giving him a proud smile, “Remember when we talked about Batman? And how he only uses guns when he has to?”

Jude gave a timid nod, making his damp spiky hair bounce over his head.

“Well, Superman does the same thing. He only uses his power when he has to beat up a bad guy. And right now, you have to beat up a bad guy, Jude. You're the only one who can do it. Daddy is going to be right here with you the whole time. I'm not gonna leave your side, I promise. But you've gotta use your grace, okay? You've got to be brave and strong like Superman. Like Papa,” Dean whispered.

After giving his son a small piece of encouragement, Dean could see the determination sweep across Jude's face – and for a moment, Dean could have swore that he was looking at Cas instead. Jude's blue eyes rose up to stare hard at the door and the sapphire orbs slowly began to glow. The lights in the room flickered and a small gust of wind rustled some loose papers. Jude's tiny hands raised up from Dean's shoulders and came together in front of him to form a bright ball of light between them. Dean kept a grip on Jude's waist as he watched his child transform into a heavenly being. It was absolutely breathtaking; like watching a miniature version of Cas get ready for battle.

“Do you see him, Jude?” Dean asked over the sound of moving air.

Jude tilted his head down and nodded, silently answering his father's question.

“Then let him have it,” Dean instructed.

The toddler in Dean's grasp carefully raised his arms over his head like he was going to throw the ball of light as hard as he could – when a voice suddenly spoke from behind Dean's back.

Wait! Don't shoot!

The unexpected sound scared both Dean and Jude. The light between Jude's hands flickered out and his little mouth opened in shock, as if he couldn't believe that the glowy man could actually talk. In the same space of time, Dean immediately jumped up and grabbed his child, wanting to protect him from whoever had just spoken. His hunting instincts had snapped on again, and when he had Jude back in his arms, Dean raced around the bed to rip open the nightstand and grab the angel blade from inside. He knew he needed to arm himself and keep Jude safe.

Once he had a weapon in one hand and his toddler in the other, Dean whipped around to face the intruder – and found an actual person standing in the motel room with them. In fact, it was someone that Dean knew personally. Someone he had worked with a few times before. Dark curly hair, short stature, scruffy beard, wide blue eyes that seemed filled with surprise. Both of his hands were up in surrender and he looked genuinely shocked. But in that moment, Dean was feeling more shocked than anyone... How the hell did Chuck Shurley get into his motel room?

“Ch – Chuck?” Dean breathed, lowering the angel blade a bit, “How did you - ? Wh – where - ? Wha - ?”

“Daddy,” Jude interrupted with a gasp, “Look.”

Dean briefly tore his eyes away from Chuck to look down at his son, who was holding up the necklace in front of Dean's bare chest. The same small charm that Dean wore for most of his life was now shining brightly, glowing in the palm of Jude's tiny hand like a beacon. The sight of it was confusing at first. How the hell was it shining like that? Was Jude using his grace to light it up? It was only after a few moment of concentration and thought that Dean remembered what Cas told him all those years ago. It's an amulet that burns hot in God's presence... Dean's eyes wandered back up to look at Chuck again, who was wearing an apologetic expression by the door. If Dean's necklace was shining... and Chuck Shurley was the only other person in the room... then that meant... that meant...

Oh my God,” Dean croaked out, dropping the angel blade.

Chuck visibly cringed as the chrome weapon clanked to the floor and rolled away. The guy took a deep breath and shrugged, casually stuffing a hand into his pocket as he took a single step forward in his gray tennis-shoes.

“I kinda prefer 'Chuck,' actually. 'God' is too formal,” he muttered, his voice calm and serious.

For a second, the only thing Dean could do was stare at the person in front of him and blink in shock. Holy shit. God himself – the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the great 'I am,' creator of all things – was standing in Dean's motel room. And Dean was in his underwear. The man shifted around in his socks with discomfort, silently wishing that he had put on clothes when he had the chance. How the hell was he supposed to talk to God if he was standing in nothing but a pair of boxer-briefs?

Chuck didn't seem to even notice the difference, though. He just stared at Dean's face and waited patiently for him to come to terms with everything. But Dean didn't even know what to do or where to begin. There were so many questions he needed to ask; so many harsh and unforgiving words he wanted to say. What could he possibly start with? How could he talk to God in front of Jude without getting angry? Dean shifted his child's weight around in his arms before finally clearing his throat.

“Wh – what are you doing here?” Dean breathed, his voice less polite than he originally intended, “Why have you been stalking my son?”

“Stalking?” Chuck repeated, making a weird face, “That's an odd choice of words, Dean. Can you really consider it stalking if I can be anywhere at anytime?”

“You've been scaring him. Tell me why,” Dean demanded.

“I honestly never meant to do that,” Chuck replied softly, letting his sight lower to the toddler's level, “Jude, I never meant to scare you.”

Jude nodded a little before reaching up to hug Dean's neck and hide his face, seeming bashful. Dean held his son close as he stared wide-eyed at Chuck. This was unbelievable! Had Chuck always been God? How long had he followed Jude around? The curly-haired guy took another large breath as he edged a little closer in the room. He could probably tell that Dean didn't trust him, because he lowered his voice and held his hands up again.

“You've got that classic Winchester look in your eye, so I'll explain for you,” Chuck offered, stopping at the end of Dean and Cas's unmade bed, “When I'm not in this vessel – when I'm not blending in and spending time with my favorite creations – I am what the good book calls 'omnipresent'. Which means I'm everywhere, all at once. No one person can see me, but I'm there, because I'm everywhere. I know it sounds confusing, but it's the truth.”

Chuck paused again to look toward the back of Jude's head and give a soft smile.

“And as it turns out, your son is a very special little boy,” he mentioned, pointing at the child in Dean's arms, “because he sees me when no one else can. He visualizes me into a human form even when I'm omnipresent. And there isn't a single soul or heavenly body that has ever been able to do that before. Not even my own children have been able to see me when I don't want to be seen.”

Dean swallowed and rubbed a hand up and down Jude's back, unsure of how to feel. Jude had been seeing God this whole time and no one knew it. Not even Cas.

“So... What does that mean?” Dean asked.

“Well,” Chuck sighed, “I guess it means Jude is pretty powerful. And he's going to do great things.”

After giving his answer, Chuck carefully cleared the small gap between them, stepping up to look Jude in the eyes. Jude raised his head a bit and actually stared back up at Chuck while he held onto Dean's neck, seeming intrigued.

“Your dad is right, Jude. You are brave, strong, and smart. And one day, you won't be afraid to fly. In fact, you're gonna fly higher than anyone has before. Including Superman,” Chuck predicted.

Dean watched closely as Chuck removed his hand from his pocket and opened in front of Jude, revealing a small necklace in his palm. The chain was black and the pendant was small and triangular, holding Superman's logo behind a thick glass cover. But just like Dean's necklace, the metal pendant on this one was shining brightly too, glowing in God's presence. It was an amulet similar to his father's. Chuck gave Jude a gentle smile and held it out until the kid was comfortable enough to take it. Jude carefully snatched the jewelry out of Chuck's hand and held it in his own to stare at the logo fondly.

“That's just a little something to remind you that you don't need to be afraid of anything, Jude. Especially not me, because I'm technically your grandpa and I'll always be there to help you. And so will the rest of your family. Okay?”

Dean was surprised to see an honest smile appear on his child's face. Jude nodded again, seeming glad that Chuck was giving him advice and a nice shiny new necklace. But Dean still felt a little angry. He was glad that Chuck was able to calm Jude down and make him feel good of course – but what about everything else? What about Earth? The wars? The plagues? The famines? The freaking apocalypse? Where was he when his people needed him? Where was he when Cas needed him? Dean leaned forward, tilting his child away so that Jude wouldn't hear his next words.

“Cas searched for you,” Dean hissed, feeling tears press against the back of his eyes as he remembered the turmoil and heartache his favorite angel went through to find his father, “Cas practically begged you to help him. Where were you when he needed you?”

“I was there. Helping him find you,” Chuck responded in a calm whisper, “When he needed to be freed from the bondage of heaven, I sent him to hell to save you. Every time Castiel perished, I personally rebuilt him and sent him back to your side. When he asked for a sign, or prayed for help, or asked me to show him the way, I put him in your path. I never abandoned my son, Dean. On the contrary, I gave him everything he ever needed through the profound bond that he shares with you.”

It felt like the breath had been stolen from Dean's lungs. For a second, he just searched Chuck's face and blinked away a few random tears, unable to cope with the magnitude of emotion swelling in his heart. He never realized it before, but everything Chuck said was true. No matter what happened, Cas always came back to Dean. Even death couldn't keep them apart. And finding out that Chuck had a helping hand in it – that God himself kept giving Cas back to Dean over and over – made him feel so good. Dean was so grateful to have Cas in his life, and having his father's literal blessing was an unbelievable relief.

“I... I appreciate that,” Dean breathed, quickly wiping away the moisture from his eyes.

“I know,” Chuck winked, giving Dean a gentle pat on the shoulder, “Well, now that I've officially crashed your party, I guess I should get out of here. Let you get back to your pie and all -”

“That's it?” Dean blurted, feeling confused, “You're just going to leave again?”

Chuck stopped to give Dean another look full of wisdom, tilting his curly head to the side and bringing his lips into a hard line beneath his thin beard.

“I never leave, Dean. I just stay out of sight,” he explained, “When it comes to children, I've discovered that a forceful approach doesn't work. You have to let your babies find their own way.”

Dean could suddenly feel Jude's entire small body resting in his arms. Maybe it was true. Maybe Dean would have to let Jude find his own way in life. Whoa. Dean never thought he would ever receive parenting advice from God... Chuck smiled again at the look of astonishment on Dean's face as he raised his hand to give a small wave.

“Please tell Castiel that I'm very proud of him,” he requested with a smile, before pausing to roll his eyes a little, “And please tell Gabriel to stop sending me junk mail. That stuff really clogs up my inbox.”

Dean actually smiled at Chuck's subtle humor. He never pegged God as a joker, but Gabriel must have gotten it from somewhere, right? Dean shared one last look of understanding and hopefulness with Chuck before the guy glanced at the toddler.

“Goodbye, Jude,” he waved.

Jude raised his head and smiled, giving Chuck a wave back.

“Bye-bye, Grandpa,” he replied.

Dean gulped. Oh, wow, God really was Jude's grandpa, wasn't he? That was such a weird title for an almighty figure to have. Chuck only nodded and gave Dean one more wink before disappearing completely. The room went kind of dim when he left, making the necklaces on Dean's neck and in Jude's hand fade out. Dean stood and stared at the empty space where Chuck had been standing, feeling at a total loss for words. He just had a talk with God – with Cas's father – and now, he didn't know what to do. Should he call Cas? Should he call Sam? Bobby? He had to tell somebody about this! It was too unbelievable!

“Look, Daddy. He gave me a necklace like yours,” Jude sang, holding it up.

“That's – that's nice, Jude,” Dean mumbled breathlessly, stumbling toward the bed, “Daddy just needs to sit down for a minute.”

The man slumped onto the bed and held his child close, trying to grip on reality. Dean couldn't even remember what he had been doing before Chuck showed up. Was he about to go to bed when it happened? Because he sure as hell wasn't going to be able to fall asleep now. Dean's mind was spinning; bringing up memories of when he doubted the very existence of God and flat-out cursed him. And God had been Chuck the whole time! Thinking back on all those moments he joked around and called Chuck funny names made Dean cringe. Oh shit, that was Cas's dad! Dean had called Cas's dad a Penthouse forum writer! And threatened to kill him! Oh man, Dean felt so stupid! He was such a mouthy prick!

“Papa!”

Jude suddenly scrambled out of Dean's lap with a shout of joy, causing the man to raise his head in question. The toddler dashed across the room toward the kitchen – where Cas had appeared in the doorway. The sight of Cas's familiar trench coat, dark hair, and gorgeous blue eyes made Dean excited too. The man practically hopped up from the bed after Jude, ready to tackle his angel with love. Cas knelt down to catch their running toddler, who collided into him with a giant hug.

“Hello, Jude,” Cas said with a smile, standing back up and holding him tight, “I missed you very much."

“I missed you too, Papa,” Jude replied, snuggling deeper into Cas's arms.

Once he found his footing, Dean started moving forward, determined to embrace his angel again. Cas welcomed Dean's open arms too, allowing him to converge into the massive hug with Jude. Dean breathed in Cas's heavenly scent and enjoyed the feeling of the angel's soft hand inching up his bare back before taking a deep and saying,

“Baby... I just met your dad.”

Cas was understandably confused at first. The angel backed out of their hug just enough to look over Dean's face with bewilderment, seeming unconvinced of what he just heard.

“What?” Cas asked breathlessly, blue eyes searching.

“Look, Papa. Grandpa gave me a necklace like Daddy's,” Jude said, holding the Superman pendant up in front of Cas's face.

“Grandpa?” Cas repeated, sounding worried, “Dean, what is he talking about?”

Dean wished that there was a better way to explain everything that just happened, but he knew he had to start somewhere.

“Do you remember Chuck Shurley? The prophet?” he urged.

“Yes,” Cas replied carefully.

“Well, he's not a prophet. He's your dad. He's... He's God, Cas. God in a human vessel,” Dean explained, “And he was standing in this room a few minutes ago.”

Dean could see a mixture of anger and worry bubbling up in Cas's blue eyes. The angel clearly didn't like what he was hearing.

“That is impossible, Dean. It could not be my father,” Cas denied, his voice tinted with worry, “I've – I've already searched for him, many times -”

“Look at me, Cas. I'm not lying to you,” Dean said, hearing the surprise in his own voice, “He was here. He talked to Jude. He gave him a necklace. And he told me...” Dean paused to reach up and take Cas's face in his hands and caress his soft cheeks, “He told me to tell you that he's very proud of you.”

Glistening moisture slowly pooled in Cas's eyes, making the sapphire orbs glassy and wet. Dean gently rubbed his thumbs across the angel's cheekbones and gave him a comforting smile, knowing that Cas must have been feeling a tremendous amount of emotion in that moment. Hell, Dean couldn't even begin to imagine what Cas must have been feeling. But he could see a small bit of hope and admiration start to appear in the angel's expression.

“He did?” Cas breathed, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah,” Dean nodded, feeling a lump form in his own throat, “He loves you. And he helped us find each other. He keeps bringing you back over and over again, Cas. He... He keeps giving you back to me.”

With a fresh wave of gratefulness, Dean leaned forward to wrap his arms back around Cas before the angel could see the tears in his eyes. He didn't know why he felt so emotional all of the sudden. Maybe it was because Dean thought that he wouldn't be able to keep his child safe from something he couldn't see. Maybe it was the astounding realization that God was real, and that he had been watching over Dean and his family all along, even though Dean never believed in him. Or maybe – just maybe – it was because Dean was finally aware of how much he loved Cas; of how grateful he was to have Cas in his life, and how he would defend Cas's honor in the presence of God without ever blinking an eye. Even now, Dean could feel Cas's warm tears of happiness streaking down his neck, and the very thought of Cas being so touched made Dean feel just as emotional.

The man discretely wiped his eyes before leaning back to look at his angel's face again. There were wet lines running down Cas's cheeks, but his lips formed a small smile as the two of them stared at each other.

“It – It sounds like we have earned my father's blessing, Dean,” Cas uttered, his tone high with joy.

“I think we've earned more than that, baby,” Dean said, reaching up to ruffle their son's spiky hair, “He told Jude that he was going to be brave and fly one day. Isn't that right, little man?”

“Uh-huh,” Jude nodded, his blue eyes sparkling, “Just like you, Papa!”

A mixture of pride and awe draped over Cas's pretty face, as if he was honored to be thought of so highly by his own son. The angel stamped a warm kiss to the center of Jude's forehead before giving him another hug. Cas hadn't been this overwhelmed with emotion since the day Jude was born. His warm hand slid up Dean's back again, tugging the man closer in order to bring their lips together. Dean kissed his angel as tenderly as possible, lifting a hand to cradle the back of his soft head and slowly merge their tongues together. He could practically taste the love and affection in their kiss.

“I knew you were my purpose all along, Dean,” the angel whispered into the man's mouth.

Dean's heart throbbed behind his ribs, making fresh tears pool in his eyes. It was true. Cas called it a long time ago. He always knew that they were meant to be together. And after having a talk with God, Dean couldn't deny it either.

“You're mine too, Cas,” he replied softly.

Chapter Text

After the glitter fiasco in the park, Sam was eager to get his archangel and their little girl back to a safe place. He wanted to get to their motel quickly, just in case other angels were planning to show up. And on the way there, Sam and Gabriel talked about their time apart from each other. Sam mentioned how Jessica made a rainbow and what Jude did at the laundromat, and Gabriel told Sam about the dangerous volcano at Yellowstone and how beautiful the Indian sunrise was. Talking to Gabriel was always so nice. Watching his golden eyes light up with amazement and hearing the playfulness in his voice made Sam feel warm and comfortable. He didn't realize how much he missed Gabe until he had the guy back again. And now that they were finally together, Sam was determined to avoid anymore drama.

But when the Impala arrived at the motel, Dean hit them with another bombshell. According to the oldest Winchester, God had visited Dean and Jude while everyone was away. God himself – dressed as Chuck Shurley – came to their motel room and talked them. Sam knew that Dean was telling the truth because the dude looked visibly shaken up. His eyes wandered aimlessly and his arms refused to uncross. Sam had never heard such surprise and awe in his brother's voice before; such utter consternation and humility. Dean was treating the situation like a horribly traumatic experience – but the news made Sam feel relieved. Sam knew God was real! He had prayed to him all along, hoping that he was somehow listening. Sam knew in his heart that there was a higher power out there pulling the strings on his life, making things happen for everyone around him. And hearing that God was real and keeping an eye on them? That was amazing!

“God?” Sam repeated in disbelief, feeling a small smile twitch on his own face, “Chuck Shurley is God? Are you serious?!”

“As a freaking heart attack,” Dean nodded, swaying back and forth in his pajamas.

Behind Sam, Gabriel gave their daughter's forehead a kiss and put her down, letting her run to Jude and hug him. The archangel walked up to Sam's side afterward to give Dean a suspicious look.

My dad? The same guy that appeared to ol' Moses in the form of a burning bush? He showed up here in a prophet's body? Uh, no. I don't buy it,” Gabriel denied bitterly, crossing his arms and shaking his head.

Sam glanced down at the archangel in surprise. He thought that Gabriel, of all people, would be the most inclined to believe Dean's story. Wasn't he happy? Wasn't he excited to hear that his dad was still watching over them? When Gabe stated his very blunt opinion on the subject, Dean narrowed his eyes and tilted his head.

“Oh yeah?” the oldest Winchester challenged flatly, “Well, he told me to tell you to stop sending him junk mail because it clogs up his inbox...”

Sam held down a chuckle. He didn't know that God had an inbox, let alone junk mail. He figured that Dean was just messing with Gabriel to try and get him riled up – but a calm expression came across Gabe's face instead. His golden eyes softened and he glanced toward Castiel nearby, who shared a look of silent agreement with him. Sam studied the interaction, realizing that the bizarre statement actually affected Gabriel on some personal level. Sam was about to ask his archangel about the whole 'inbox' thing when his nephew's voice cut him off.

“Here's your bunny back, Jessie,” Jude said, holding out the stuffed animal, “I kept him safe for you.”

Jessica gasped dramatically and snatched her bunny out of his hand to hug it against her glitter-covered face. The little blonde girl seemed exceedingly grateful to have her favorite possession back.

“Fank you, Jude,” she praised, hugging him again.

All four parents watched their children embrace for a second, admiring the affectionate way they patted each others' backs and held on tight. The glitter in Jessica's blonde hair shimmered in the motel light and it wasn't long before someone noticed.

“I've been meaning to ask,” Dean muttered, glancing between Jessica and Sam, “Why are you guys covered in sparkles? Did you have a surprise party in the park or something?”

Sam let out a hollow laugh, high-pitched and full of dread. Surprise party? Yeah, it was a real surprise alright...

“Far from it,” the younger brother said, dusting some of the glitter from his jacket sleeves, “Turns out Gabe never sent any messages. They came from the angels.”

“Angels?” Cas repeated, stepping closer with a look of concern.

“Yeah. Three of them showed up. And they...” Sam's voice trailed off and he gulped, remembering all of the terrible thoughts that went through his own mind when he talked with them, “... wanted to take Jessica.”

Both Dean and Cas's mouths fell open in horror. The stunned looks on their faces made Sam cringe internally. Their disgust and outrage was well-founded, but it made Sam feel guilty again. Because he almost let it happen...

“And I turned them into glitter!” Jessica announced proudly, spinning around to smile up at her uncles.

The disturbed expressions on Dean and Cas's faces gradually shifted into pure shock as they looked back up to the little girl's parents. Dean's eyes in particular traveled all over Sam's head and shoulders, examining the shiny powder with revulsion.

“So you're... covered in angel remains?!” Dean assumed with a grimace.

“Angelic vessel remains, actually,” Gabriel casually corrected.

Sam sighed and closed his eyes in defeat. His day had been obscenely eventful; ranging from happy reunions and fun family time, to unexpected road trips and down-right horrifying encounters. Part of him wanted to walk away from the group, crawl his weary ass into bed, and just fall asleep so that he could end this day for good. He also wanted to cuddle Gabe, Jessica, and Dickie for awhile and let their small family unit heal his unseen wounds. But the bigger and more logical part of Sam knew that he needed to take a shower; to cleanse himself of the 'angelic vessel remains' sprinkled all over his body, and wash away the painful stress weighing him down. Sam needed a moment to be alone and clear his head.

“Okay,” he breathed, opening his eyes again to glance around at his family, “You know what? I, uh... I need to get in the shower. Gabe, you've got Jess, right?”

Sam was walking away before he even got an answer, leaving Gabe without a choice but to watch their daughter. The man grabbed his duffel bag on the way to the bathroom, not pausing to stand or turn around until he was alone inside the room. Once the door was shut, Sam took a deep calming breath and gazed at the damp towels and stray clothes all over the tiled floor. For the first time in a long time, Sam was physically alone. But his constant storm of thoughts kept him company against his will.

The man was functioning on autopilot as he went about starting his shower. He undressed and turned on the water at a zombie-like pace, staring blankly at all the wet toys in the bottom of the bathtub. He was silently trying to figure out how Chuck Shurley could be God. Was Chuck playing God the whole time? Or was God just using Chuck as a vessel, like an angel? And how could Jude see him when no one else could? Did Jude have some kind of super power? If Jude could see God and Jessica could see the future, what kind of extraordinary lives were they going to have? Were the new generation of Winchesters going to impact the world on an even bigger scale than their fathers?

When Sam finally stepped under the warm cascade of water and pulled the plastic curtain closed, he was mentally reliving what happened at the park. Thinking about those angels – angels who actually had Jessica's best interest in mind; who only wanted to help her succeed – made Sam sick at his stomach. Even though Gabe was able to comfort him at the time, Sam still felt like total crap. He had almost given his daughter away! What kind of terrible parent ever considered giving their own child to other people? Sam recalled the panic in Jessica's voice when she woke up to see the angels who wanted to take her. Jess had asked Sam days in advance not to let them take her! And he still thought about it! Ugh, he was such a bad parent!

While Sam beat himself up emotionally, he started to slowly wash his body. The entire bottom of the bathtub was filled with purple glitter in no time, pooling around Jude and Jessica's bath toys and streaming toward the drain with the water. Looking at the shiny aftermath of his daughter's handiwork made Sam cringe again. Gabe was right. The glitter seemed harmless on the surface, but it was actually kind of disturbing. Human vessels reduced to crafting supplies by a three-year-old? That sounded like something straight out of the Twilight Zone. Sam nudged the edge of Jude's plastic boat with his foot as he washed his hair, clearing a path for the glitter to escape down the drain. Before he met Gabe, Sam never would have imagined that his life would be so full of weird and unexpected situations like this...

It took some time, but Sam eventually finished scrubbing the glitter out of his hair and off his skin. He subconsciously decided to stay in the shower for a while longer, just to take advantage of the alone-time and beat himself up some more. The sound of warm water pouring from the faucet was his only companion – until he heard a sudden 'whoosh' and felt cold air race up his back.

Sam jumped and spun around in the tight space to see his golden archangel suddenly staring back at him. Gabriel had popped into the shower with Sam and was now standing – fully clothed – among the bath toys and glitter, getting wet from the droplets spraying from Sam's shoulders. Gabe's amber eyes were large and full of excitement now, like a child standing in front of a giant candy bar.

“Sammy,” Gabe breathed with a grin, reaching out to clutch both of Sam's wet biceps, “Dean and Cassie agreed to keep an eye on our rabbit for fifteen minutes. They're giving us fifteen minutes to be alone together! Do you know what that means?!”

Sam blinked down at his archangel in surprise, feeling his entire naked body shudder with delight under the stream of water.

“S – sex,” he breathed, slowly reaching up to grab handfuls of the front of Gabe's moist shirt, “Holy shit, we get to have sex!

Gabriel nodded feverishly before letting go to snap his fingers together. The sound echoed around the bathroom – and all the clothing vanished from the archangel's body. Gabe was suddenly standing completely naked in front of Sam, bare torso and limbs unabashedly on display. Sam's eyes immediately dropped to absorb the heavenly sight, searching Gabe's hairy chest, thick thighs, and of course his growing dick. The thing was already pumping to life between his short legs, bouncing around as if it was waving excitedly at Sam. It had been so long since Sam last saw Gabriel's naked body. And apparently, Gabriel felt the same way about Sam's, because as soon as they were both nude, Gabriel ran his wet hands up and down Sam's tense abs and pecs as if the man was made of gold.

“Damn, kid, you're like a work of art,” he sighed, his breath already hitching with anticipation, “I still can't believe you're all mine.

A tiny squeak escaped the depths of Sam's throat. He was a sucker for Gabriel's silver tongue, especially when it spoke such loving poetry. After waiting patiently for almost two whole months and enduring the painfully constant need to touch Gabe's body, Sam was finally able to let himself pull his archangel close and slide a hand down to cradle Gabe's warm crotch. Tingles and chills flourished through the man's body when he heard and felt Gabriel's moan reverberate all around him. Their mouths came together in a hard collision afterward, muting their voices and making their noses work overtime to breathe. Oh God, Gabe's dick was so hard in Sam's grasp. Gabriel wanted to have sex so badly and the thought alone made Sam's own cock start to throb.

Knowing they only had fifteen minutes, Sam wasted no time sliding both hands around Gabriel's warm torso and lifting him up to turn around. Sam's intention was to press Gabe's back against the wet wall of the shower so that the guy could bounce up and down more easily. But when Sam went to move closer to the wall, he accidentally slipped on a soapy bath toy – and fell backward with Gabe in his arms. The man gasped and grabbed onto the shower curtain, hoping it would help break their fall. But the thin plastic sheet tore away from the metal rod one hook at a time, filling the room with a fast 'clink, clink, clink, clink'! Sam and Gabriel toppled out of the bathtub and landed in a heap on the bathroom floor, both wet, naked, and brandishing shiny erections. Sam scrambled to sit up and observe his archangel, worried that he had accidentally hurt him.

“Shit, Gabe, are – are you okay?” Sam asked, unable to stop himself from staring at his boyfriend's raging boner.

“No, I'm not okay! I'm horny as hell! Get over here and fix it,” Gabriel grumbled, yanking Sam back into his embrace.

A long 'mmm' hummed from behind Sam's tongue as it wiggled its way back into Gabe's sweet-tasting mouth. He hovered over Gabe on the floor while they kissed, shifting around to burrow his hips between Gabriel's moist thighs. Oh God, Gabe was so hard. Sam could feel the archangel's dick with his own when he bucked against him, all the veins thick with blood and muscles tense. The man had to release Gabe's mouth so that he could pant, finding it difficult to even breathe properly when he was so aroused. He slipped his lips down the side of Gabe's neck instead, pecking his body with rushed sloppy kisses as he made his way downward.

“Dear sweet daddy above,” Gabe groaned, tangling his fingers in Sam's hair, “This is better than I ever expect – Ahhh!

The archangel's sentence morphed into a beautiful cry of approval when Sam's mouth swallowed his dick. The man bobbed his head along Gabe's solid hot shaft a few times, enjoying the sound and sight of his partner's pleasure. Usually, Sam wasn't too fond of sticking a dick in his mouth, but this was long overdue. Sam wanted to please Gabriel just as much as he wanted to get off for himself. And watching one of heaven's most beautiful and powerful archangel's writhe and whimper beneath him made Sam's dick practically stand at attention.

“Ahhh... Damn... I never knew a moose could give such amazing head,” Gabe panted with a smirk, tugging on Sam's wet hair.

The man hummed in agreement before raising up again, freeing his mouth to breathe and replacing it with his fist. Sam stroked Gabe's dick with one hand and slipped a finger between the archangel's ass cheeks with his other, prodding the guy's warm hole while he looked around. Sammy was subconsciously searching for some kind of lubricant because he knew he would need some to penetrate Gabe's ass. But what could they use from around the bathroom? Lotion? Soap? Shampoo? None of that seemed very safe.

“Here,” Gabriel said.

Sam glanced down to see the archangel wave a hand and make a tube appear out of thin air. Gabe tossed the small container at Sam, who caught it against his bare chest and looked down to read the label. It was a name brand water-based lubricant. And the tube itself was half empty as if it had been used before. Sam paused to give his boyfriend a questioning look.

“I found it in the Impala's glove box,” Gabe explained, “Now what are you waiting for? Lube me up! Let's go!”

Although Sam knew on some level that this lubricant probably belonged to his brother and Cas, he immediately put it to use anyway; popping open the lid and squirting a generous amount onto his fingers. He tossed the container across the floor and brought the dollop of lube to Gabe's hole afterward, running it between his cheeks and sliding a single finger inside. Gabe whimpered loudly at the sensation, rocking his hips against the flat shower curtain beneath him and making his hard dick wobble around. Sam stroked his own stiff cock with his other hand, lubing it up for launch too.

“S – stop teasing me, Sam,” Gabe begged in a breathless whisper, “Just give it to me. I can't wait anymore.”

That was all it took. After hearing Gabe's sincere plea, Sam's mind was gone and his body started running the show. He shifted around in his knees to bring his wet dick to Gabe's warm entrance. With a bit of maneuvering and a tiny thrust, Sam was finally gliding inside; merging their bodies together for the first time in ages. Gabriel sighed with a high-pitched 'ahhh' as Sam slid into him, sounding relieved and aroused all at once. Sam couldn't stop the tiny moans from falling out of his own mouth. God, Gabe was so tight. He felt so good. And he smelled so good. And he looked so good. Sam loved him so much...

“Mmm, Gabe,” Sam huffed in desperation, taking hold of the archangel's thighs and slowly easing in and out of him, “I – I love you so much.”

Another sound squeaked from Gabe's throat as he reached up to pull Sam's face downward. The archangel kissed the man's lips as they moved, making the pheromones and chemicals rush through Sam's whole body.

“I love you, Sammy-boy,” Gabe breathed, letting his head fall back against the wet shower curtain, “Ah, I forgot how big you are... G – give it to me... Shit, I want it so bad... Don't hold back...”

Sam immediately catered to his archangel's wishes. He braced both of his knees against the bathroom floor and let Gabriel have it. He thrust as hard as his muscles would let him, burying his cock so deep inside Gabriel's hole that his balls pressed flat against the guy's ass. Gabe's fingers scraped hard lines across Sam's back as he moaned, filling the silent bathroom with the amazing melody. Sam couldn't stop thrusting, now. His hips were moving in a blur, bringing him closer and closer to sweet, sweet orgasm...

“Ahh, yeah,” Sam cried, panting into Gabe's open mouth.

The man blinked down at the archangel's pretty face as he hammered into him, admiring his wet lips, damp blonde hair, and wide golden eyes. Gabriel was so damn handsome; so gorgeous and petite. And he was so loving. Sam didn't know where he would be without Gabe's constant playfulness and encouragement. Emotions swirled inside Sam's pounding heart, fueling the erection that was currently penetrating Gabriel's warm body. Sam had never experienced so many feelings during sex before. He never knew that sex could be so damn emotional; so extremely meaningful.

“H – Harder, kid,” Gabe begged, his eyebrows curving with lust, “Oh shit, I'm about to cross the finish line...”

One of Sam's hands fell between Gabriel's open thighs to take hold of the archangel's erection again. Gabe let out a throaty gasp when Sam started to pump it, seeming surprised and eager. Sam stroked Gabe's dick as fast and tightly as he would his own, wanting to give Gabriel all the pleasure. Gabe rocked right along with Sam's thrusting motions, clinging to the man's face and hair with trembling hands.

“Holy moose on a Tuesday! Ah! Yeah! Right there!” Gabe shouted, letting his golden eyes roll back, “Yes! Sam! Ahh!

Snow-white semen burst from the tip of Gabriel's cock, painting both of their stomachs and chests with wet ribbons. Gabriel was slurring nonsense and rapidly blinking his honey eyes, momentarily possessed with pleasure. Sam groaned passionately while he choked the archangel's dick with a clinched fist, feeling an orgasm start to swell up inside his own balls. Just watching Gabe turn into a blubbering, ejaculating mess shot Sam to the edge.

Argh, Gabe! Yeah!” the man cried, thrusting with all he had.

Orgasm exploded through Sam's body, making his limbs shudder and his cock pulse. Sam was barely aware that he was still thrusting into Gabe's ass because he was too busy moaning loudly and feeling himself release. It felt like the semen was just pouring out of him; held back for so long that it couldn't wait to be free. And it felt so good. Coming inside Gabriel was the greatest experience ever.

The man bucked and rocked into his archangel's body until he ran completely out of steam. Sam physically collapsed on top of Gabe afterward, unable to even remain on his shaking knees. And Gabriel welcomed him with open arms, hugging him horizontally to smear wet kisses over his bare shoulder. Sam laid there for a minute and just blinked; listening to the shower run behind them and feeling the archangel's heart pound directly under his own.

“Damn,” Gabe breathed, sounding drunk with pleasure, “That was... amazing.”

Sam nodded against the side of Gabe's head in agreement. Hell yeah, that was amazing. The best damn sex Sam had ever had. He slowly brought a hand up to touch Gabe's blonde hair, tangling his long fingers in the damp golden strands. His breathtaking orgasm had deeply affected his mood and all he wanted to do now was cuddle Gabriel close and never let go. Sam carefully raised his head again to bring his mouth against Gabe's, wanting to taste his sweet lips.

A tiny 'woof' came from their left.

Sam and Gabe both opened their eyes and rolled their heads toward the sound to see Dickie across the room. The dog was just sitting calmly near the wall in his bow tie, staring at his owners with his head tilted as if he was curious to know why Sam and Gabe were wet and doing it on the floor. Sam was a little surprised to see Dickie in the bathroom. How the hell did he even get in here? The door was locked! Gabriel sighed dramatically underneath Sam.

“Enjoying the show?” the archangel spat.

Dickie only wagged his tail in response. Sam shook his head before lowering it back to Gabriel's neck. At this point, he didn't care who was watching. He just wanted to soak up as much alone time with Gabe as he possibly could.

“Well,” Gabe purred, running his hands up and down Sam's huge bare back, “I'd say we've got about... eight more minutes. Wanna make them count?”

“I am making them count,” Sam slurred against Gabe's skin as he softly raked his fingers through the archangel's golden hair, “I'm not gonna let you go until our time is up.”

A small chuckle was Gabe's only reply. He tilted his head to the side a bit, allowing Sam more access to his throat and collar bone. Sam was telling the truth. Until someone interrupted them, he wasn't going to stop kissing and cuddling his archangel. He had waited for this for too long. Gabriel mostly laid still and let Sam kiss him in silence, seeming lost in thought. But he eventually took a large breath and brought his eyes back to Sam's face.

“Sam,” he began in a serious tone, “I know this is probably a bad time to talk about it, but... I think Dean and Jude really did see my old man.”

Sam met his archangel's stare, seeing hopefulness buried deep inside the amber hues. When Dean told them about Chuck, it seemed like Gabe didn't believe the story. Sam could tell that he didn't think his father actually came to visit. But did something change Gabe's mind? What made him believe it all of the sudden?

“What do you mean?” Sam gently prompted, still petting Gabe's hair.

“When... When I heard that Dad left heaven, I actually spent some time looking for him,” the archangel admitted, his cheeks turning pink, “I wandered and looked and scoured and searched and prayed and called out and yelled and begged and shouted... but I never found him. It was like he didn't want to be found, and that really pissed me off. So, one day, I finally sat down and I said...” Gabe paused, swallowing hard as he stared up into Sam's eyes, “I – I said I was going to clog up his inbox with junk mail until he answered me...”

A smile slowly stretched across Sam's lips as he gazed into his archangel's face. It seemed like God had been listening to Gabriel all along. Moisture started to pool in Gabe's eyes the longer they stared at each other. And Sam wanted to comfort his archangel and let him know that it was okay to get emotional over his Dad – but a teeny-tiny knock came from the bathroom door.

Papa?” Jessica called quietly, her voice muffled, “Daddy? Can you come out now?

Sam and Gabriel both exhaled sighs of defeat, realizing that their time alone was officially over. Now that the fun had ended, they had to go back out and be parents to their beautiful baby girl and help Bobby with his portal again. Life had to keep going, no matter how much they wanted to stay wrapped in each others' naked arms.

“Yeah. We're coming, baby rabbit,” Gabe promised sweetly.

The archangel started shifting out from under Sam's body so Sam helped him, raising to his knees to free Gabe from the floor. When Gabriel finally got to his feet, Sam grabbed his small hand to reclaim his attention.

“Gabe,” the man said, giving him the most comforting look he could muster, “I'm... I'm glad your dad finally answered you.”

Gabriel's fingers instantly curled tighter around Sam's as they stared at each other. The archangel looked genuinely touched by Sam's small statement. He bent over to bring his lips back to Sam's mouth, giving the man another loving and passionate kiss.

“Me too, kid,” he agreed, his golden eyes glancing downward, “Now toss some clothes on that gorgeous body of yours so we can go tuck our glitter-maker into bed.”


Everyone in the Winchesters' motel room slept peacefully that night. Jude and Jessica snuggled between their respective parents and barely stirred, seeming relaxed and grateful to have their papas back. It didn't take Sam long to fall asleep either. Once he was in bed with an arm around his beloved archangel and their daughter, he was down for the count. But the next morning came bright and early, starting with a wake-up call from Bobby. The old man was eager to get the portal done and wanted everyone up and ready to go by nine o'clock. So after squeezing in their first round of coffee, the Winchesters got their babies feed, dressed, and prepared for the trip to South Dakota.

Sam was under the impression that they would be driving to Bobby's house in a caravan. But when everybody met outside at the Impala, the old man suggested that the angels just fly them there to save time and money. Dean and Cas were a little hesitant to go with his plan, because they knew flying made Jude uncomfortable. But with a little more coaxing, Bobby convinced them that it was a better solution and the guys reluctantly agreed. Jude wasn't very happy about the thought of being zapped to Bobby's house, of course. He climbed up Cas's torso and buried himself inside the angel's trench coat before take off, refusing to look up from his papa's chest. The flight itself was over in seconds, but Jude still ended up crying a little bit; scared by the sensation. Luckily, Jessica was able to help him calm down with a gentle hug and he eventually recovered.

Once their children were settled and comfortable at Bobby's, the Winchesters followed the old man into his garage to see the exact spot he wanted to build the portal. He pointed out the space and dimensions and the adults went to work. Gabriel brought all the bricks to the garage and Cas got out the book to read the instructions while Sam and Dean helped stack them up. Spices and dead flowers had to be sprinkled between each brick before placement. And when the two columns reached twenty-five blocks high on each side, the rest were stacked toward the middle, creating a perfect arch. The brick in the very center had to have blood poured over it, which Gabriel stole from a blood bank. And once everything was in place, Cas stood in front of the arch and read the Latin phrase from the book.

But nothing happened.

The archway remained empty, even after Cas read the phrase twice. For a moment, all the guys stood around and stared at the structure they just made, wondering why it wouldn't work. Even Sam was stumped. They had followed the directions exactly, right down to the very last percentage. Why wouldn't the portal open?

“Are you boys sure you did it right?” Bobby snapped, lifting the bill of his hat up with his thumb.

“Singer, we've read that stupid book a hundred times,” Gabriel said wearily, “We did everything correctly. I don't know why it's not opening. Maybe its broken from the other side.”

“Lemme see that,” the old man grumbled, snatching the book out of Cas's hand.

Bobby stomped over to stand by the open garage door and read in the sunlight, convinced that the guys had done something wrong. In the meantime, Sam sighed and looked among the rest of his family, hoping that one of them might have an answer.

“Perhaps it is a good thing that the portal refuses to open,” Cas mentioned quietly, glancing at Jude and Jessica who were playing with Bobby's dogs across the room, “It doesn't seem very appropriate for the children to watch their fathers walk into hell.”

“I agree,” Gabriel spoke up, giving Sam a worried look, “I mean, why do you two have to go with him? Bobby's a big boy. He can take care of himself.”

“It's hell, Gabe. We can't let Bobby go there alone,” Sam reminded as gently as possible, “Besides, what better way to teach our kids about the importance of the buddy system than by giving them an example?”

“Exactly,” Dean added with a nod, reaching up to touch Cas's face, “Baby, don't worry. Sam and I have been there before. We can handle ourselves and we'll be back in an hour, tops.”

Although Dean and Sam were trying to be as positive as possible, their angels still wore looks of hesitation. A moment of anxious silence passed by before Bobby walked back over to the group and held a page out.

“What's that scribble say about the blood stuff?” he asked, pointing to a handwritten note.

Gabe leaned over to take a look at the words, knitting his eyebrows together and scrunching his nose.

“Uh, something about fresh meat? Meat being alive? I don't know. Those old hags had terrible handwriting,” he mumbled with a shrug.

“Fresh,” Sam repeated, feeling a light bulb shine in his mind, “That's it. That's probably why it's not working. We need fresh blood. Living blood.”

“So, somebody's gotta cut themselves open?” Dean assumed.

Before the guys could speculate what the text meant, Bobby reached into his pocket, pulled out a knife, and ran the blade across the palm of his hand. Sam and Dean gasped and jumped when they saw the red liquid pour out of Bobby's self-inflicted injury and drip on the floor.

“Whoa, Singer, what the hell?!” Gabe breathed in shock.

The old man didn't even flinch as he walked over to the black stone arch and slapped his wet hand on the middle brick. He smeared his own fresh blood over the rock, painting the entire thing bright red, before wrapping his wound up with a handkerchief from his pocket. He turned around to hold the book out to the guys afterward.

“Try it again,” he requested bluntly.

Though he seemed a little confused, Cas took the book from Bobby and flipped to the page with the Latin on it. The angel cleared his throat and glanced between the paper and the arch in front of him as he read aloud.

Et portae inferni iter ingredi morituram daemonum,” Cas spoke fervently.

There was a distinct shift in the air after the last word reverberated off the garage walls. An icy chill raced through the area, making goosebumps rise on Sam's skin. Bobby and the Winchesters all stared hard at the stone arch in front of them, watching as the empty space in the center began to change. A red mist appeared at first; a crimson fog that infected the room with the scent of sulfur mixed with cinnamon. But then, the red mist disappeared – leaving a pitch-black void in its place. It was like looking into outer space without stars; a literal black sheet of nothingness. Sam swallowed nervously as he stared at the intimidating passage.

The portal to hell was officially open.

“Hmm,” Gabe hummed, grabbing Sam's arm and leaning around him to eye the structure suspiciously, “It reminds me of a rabbit hole. Are you sure it doesn't lead to Wonderland?”

Before anyone could reply to Gabriel's sarcastic comment, a white streak zoomed across the floor in front of them. Sam had just enough time to recognize that the moving blur was Dickie – before the dog dashed head-first into the pitch-black void. Dickie ran into the portal like he was chasing tail; fearless and determined to get away.

Dickie!” Gabe gasped, his voice hollow with disbelief and terror.

The sound of Gabriel's distress made Sam's instincts kick in. He was moving forward before he even had time to think about it. With steadfast resolve, Sam ripped himself out of Gabriel's grasp and sprinted into the portal after Dickie. He was solely focused on getting his boyfriend's dog back and saving him from the horror that was inevitably waiting on the other side. Sam had to rescue him! He couldn't let any demons harm Gabe's dog! Despite his family's fervent shouts of 'Wait!' and 'Sam, don't!', the younger Winchester threw himself into the void for Dickie.

To be honest, Sam wasn't exactly sure what to expect when he ran into the portal. In the back of his mind, he assumed that he would be greeted with the intense heat of hellfire and a swarm of blood-thirsty demons. Or that he would fall and keep falling forever, just like Alice from the story Gabe mentioned. But Sam was surprised to find that moving through the portal was like walking through a doorway instead. His boots instantly hit solid ground and he could see a dark hallway in front of him. It was like Sam had stepped into a huge silent castle – and Dickie was running loose down the corridors.

“Dickie!” Sam hissed, chasing after him.

With his ridiculously long legs, Sam was able to catch up to Dickie in three giant strides. The man instantly scooped up the dog and held him close to prevent him from wiggling away.

“Dammit, Dickie! What the hell were you thinking?!” Sam breathed in a harsh whisper.

Staring down at Dickie's large brown eyes and wagging tail made Sam realize the magnitude of what he had just done. The man was currently standing alone in hell, holding a dog with a bow tie collar. Sam had gone into hell without Dean and Bobby! Without even saying goodbye to Gabe or their daughter! Oh shit, Gabe was going to be so upset...

Luckily, the black void that Sam and Dickie came through was still visible in the dark hallway. The portal was still open, and it wasn't long before Bobby and Dean stepped out from the dark abyss. The two of them were both holding knives at the ready as they walked in and glanced around. As soon as they saw Sam, they made a B-line for him.

“Are you crazy, boy?!” Bobby whispered, sounding just as worried as Sam did earlier.

“I – I'm sorry. Dickie ran in and I had to save him,” Sam tried to justify.

“Dude, Gabriel is beyond pissed,” Dean mentioned lowly, shaking his head, “Cas had to hold him back to stop him from coming in after you.”

Sam gulped. Oh, great. There was probably going to be a long lecture and a night in the dog house waiting for him when he got back to the surface. Before the Winchesters could utter another word to each other, a couple of shadows moved around them. Bobby, Dean, and Sam all backed away and shrank up against the stone walls of the hallway to avoid detection – but they were spotted anyway. A group of demons marched up and stopped to glance among them, eyes black as coal and faces set with surprise and fury.

“Winchesters,” one growled, demonic voice sounding like broken rocks grinding together, “How did you get here?”

Bobby immediately stepped forward, rounding Dean to walk up to the demons. The knife in his hand lowered but his gray eyes were vibrant with rage and will power. Bobby was a man on a mission and nothing was going to stand in his way.

“It don't matter how we got here. All you need to know is that I came here to see your boss. And I'm not leaving until I do,” the old man said, sounding as steady as a flowing river, “So you can either take me to him now and I'll leave on my own, or we'll see how many of you soul-suckers I can take down by myself. You ain't seen hell 'til you've seen me with no options.”

The demons clearly didn't like taking orders, especially from a grumpy old egotistical hunter. But somehow, Bobby's little threat actually worked. The main demon gave a nod to the others.

“Take them to the throne room,” he ordered.

Sam tightened his grip around Dickie as he felt a demon grab his arm and yank him forward. He, Dean, and Bobby were all physically escorted down a winding maze of stone hallways. Sam tried his best to memorize the route in his head so that they would be able to make it back to the portal, but the distant sound of echoing screams and souls being tortured made it difficult to focus. The scent of sulfur and cinnamon was thick in the air too, making him feel light-headed with every breath. Although he had never been a big fan of Crowley before, Sam was actually looking forward to seeing him. Any familiar face would be a welcome distraction in a place like this, no matter how evil he was.

The pack of demons made one final turn and a giant room came into view. More demonic guards were stationed at the entrance with blank faces and suits. Lit candelabras and onyx pedestals lined the far walls, each holding a trophy of some kind – including one that resembled a blue hat similar to Bobby's. Dozens of stone columns lined the edges of the area, accenting the long dark carpet runner that led straight to a classy-looking throne. The chair itself had a black velvet backing and sat high on a rock base, which made it high enough for the whole room to see from any angle. And Sam expected to see Crowley sitting there... but someone else was in his place.

It was a woman. A very short and petite woman, with fiery red curls and ruby lipstick. She was wearing a nice blue dress and sipping from a tea cup with a devilish grin on her face. Sam studied the small lady as he, Dean, and Bobby all slowed to a stop before the throne. Who the hell was she? And what had she done with Crowley?

“Ah, new visitors,” she hummed in a thick Scottish accent, sitting up straight in her seat to give each of them a solid glance, “Such strapping young lads. So handsome and full of life. To what do we owe the pleasure, gentlemen?”

“Who the hell are you?” Bobby blurted, his voice tainted with worry and anger, “Where is Crowley?”

The woman lifted a delicate eyebrow in confusion as she placed her tea cup back on its saucer.

“Crowley?” she repeated calmly, her hazel eyes widening with realization, “Oh, you must be talking about Fergus...”

“Fergus?” Dean mumbled, scrunching his nose.

“Yes, he's the king. King of hell,” she purred, pausing to glance away and sigh with a smile, “To think my sweet Fergus would be capable of ruling over such a powerful kingdom. He had the potential all along. He's so very resourceful. I do love him so...”

Sam gulped. Love? This woman loved Crowley? But, Bobby loved Crowley! That was the whole reason they came here! Sam spared a quick glance toward the old man at his side and could see that Bobby's face had gone pale. It seemed like the guy made the same connection because he looked utterly devastated. Was Crowley cheating on Bobby with this red-haired Scottish chick?

“You... uh...” the old man stammered, his tone cold and emotionless, “You love him?”

“'Course I do. Who wouldn't love a king? 'Specially one as handsome as he? Hmm. I just wonder where the wee devil got his good looks from,” She mused, taking a sip and smiling to herself as if she'd told a funny joke.

Sam could tell that Bobby was becoming sadder by the second. His bearded face was slowly falling and his eyes were glazing over as he blinked at the red head. And it broke Sam's heart. Ugh, he hated seeing Bobby so upset! This wasn't fair! If Crowley had been cheating on Bobby with this bitch the whole time, then he needed to fess up!

“Where is Crowley?” Sam barked, trying to take up for his father figure.

The red haired lady opened her mouth to speak again, but her Scottish accent was cut off but the sound of a door closing in the distance. Everyone looked toward the right side of the room, where heavy footsteps started to make their way inside. Some quiet British bickering accompanied the noise – as Crowley himself slowly walked into view. The king of hell was carrying a small metal tray with a teapot and cookies on it and wearing a stubborn scowl.

“I swear on the head of the Catholic church,” he grumbled, almost glaring at the woman in his throne, “if you ask me to fetch you another batch of cookies from the north of England just because they 'taste fancy,' I'm going to -”

Crowley stopped dead in his tracks when he raised his head to see everyone standing in his throne room. His brown eyes shot straight to Bobby in the middle and instantly filled with a warm glow of surprise. The tray slowly slipped out of his grasp and crashed to the floor, making the teapot shatter and cookies fall everywhere. Even from a single glance, Sam could tell that Crowley was actually excited to see Bobby again.

“R – Robert?” Crowley breathed, searching the old man affectionately.

A tiny smile appeared just beneath Bobby's beard as they shared a small stare. It seemed like the two of them were really happy to see each other again. The red haired lady gasped dramatically and put her tea cup down on the arm of the throne to stand up.

“Oh! So this is that 'Robert' fellow you won't stop fawning over,” she smiled, searching up and down Bobby's entire form, “He does seem quite robust and virile.”

“Enough,” Crowley snapped.

“Strong and capable. Easy on the eyes as well,” she continued anyway, flashing Crowley a smirk, “Have you taken him for a ride yet, Fergus?”

Mother, please!” Crowley hissed.

Sam, Dean, and Bobby's jaws all dropped at once. Mother?! Did Crowley just say mother?! This red-headed Scot was Crowley's mom?! But how?! She was so young! Bobby took a timid step closer, wearing a mixture of relief and shock.

“M – mother?” he repeated, glancing between Crowley and the lady, “She's... she's your mother...”

Crowley's face turned a little pale and he tilted his head down sheepishly as if he was ashamed.

“Unfortunately, she is,” he admitted, “Robert, this is Rowena. Rowena, this is Robert Singer.”

“Pleased to finally make your acquaintance, love,” she sang.

Rowena stepped off the throne with her hand outstretched as if she wanted to shake Bobby's hand. But Crowley caught her by the arm, preventing her from getting close to the hunters.

“Don't touch him,” the king warned in a lethal tone.

Rowena shot him a glare but dropped her arm. Sam was totally confused. How was this woman Crowley's mother? Why was she so young? Why didn't Crowley want her to touch Bobby? Although these questions were burning Sam's insides, he held his tongue and waited to see the situation play out. Crowley brought his sight back to Bobby, where it softened immediately.

“How did you get here?” he asked.

“We, uh, we built a portal,” Bobby admitted.

“You built a portal to hell itself?” Rowena asked, “Why did you do such a dark deed?”

Bobby's cheeks flushed and he stole a quick glance at Crowley before coughing nervously. He didn't reply to the woman's question, but the answer was obvious. Crowley's dark eyes widened a bit.

“For me?” he whispered under his breath.

Bobby only flashed a shy glance back up at Crowley, silently agreeing with his statement. They were clearly eye-flirting with each other but were still trying to play it off. Ugh, it was like watching two love-sick school kids trying to secretly interact in front of adults. Luckily, Dean was able to break the uncomfortable tension by stepping forward to change the subject.

“While we're all standing here and everything, I have a serious question for you,” he said, narrowing his eyes toward Crowley with conviction, “Did you send demons to attack me and my son a few days ago?”

“No,” Crowley answered, sounding truthful.

“Oh! That was me actually,” Rowena smiled, raising her hand and batting her long eyelashes.

Raw, unbridled fury lit up Dean's eyes. His jaw visibly clinched and he took a solid step forward, staring down Rowena as if she was the embodiment of evil.

“You... sent demons... after my child?” Dean growled, slowly raising the weapon in his hand.

“I only wanted to see him,” Rowena explained with a smile, seeming indifferent to the dangerously angry hunter in front of her, “Fergus kept going on about how sweet and powerful the little tyke was and I thought I might steal him away for a wee bit to see -”

Mother!” Crowley suddenly shouted, spinning her around to glare at her, “I told you that child was off limits! Are you deaf?! Messing with the Winchesters is a bloody death sentence! Don't you know that?!”

“You're the king of hell, Fergus! You can do whatever you please!” She shouted back.

Not to them!” Crowley boomed.

The demon's voice echoed around the stone room, making the onyx pedestals quake on their stands. Rowena finally shut her mouth afterward, seeming disturbed by her son's defense of the hunters. Crowley took a few calming breaths before bringing his attention back to Dean.

“I apologize on behalf of my witless mother,” the demon spat, tossing her another glare, “She may be a witch, but she lacks decent charm of any kind.”

“A witch?” Sam inquired.

“The best in all the land,” she nodded.

“Yeah? Well, if you ever try to harm my son again, I'll burn you at the stake myself,” Dean swore.

Rowena rolled her eyes and said a small comment under her breath, but Sam didn't catch it because he was too busy trying to hold onto the dog in his arms. Dickie was wiggling around violently all of the sudden, trying his best to get out of Sam's hands.

“Dickie, stop it,” Sam commanded.

The dog barked back and eventually broke free from Sam's hold. He jumped into the floor and raced over to the side of Crowley's throne, where he sniffed and licked at a particular space of air. Sam quietly sneaked away from the group of people to go after the dog, wandering what he was doing. It wasn't until Sam heard two distinct sets of whimpering noises that he realized – Dickie was interacting with a hell hound.

“Juliet,” Crowley called from behind Sam, sounding annoyed, “Leave that mutt alone! You don't know where its been.”

When Sam became aware that Dickie just wanted to see his old girlfriend, he actually gave the dogs a minute to catch up; standing back to let them sniff and lick each other. It was kind of odd because Sam couldn't see Juliet. But he knew she was there because Dickie's fur was getting wet and sticking straight up. In fact, the hell hound seemed particularly interested in Dickie's bow tie. But when the Jack Russell Terrier attempted to hop up on his hind legs, Sam thought it was time to intervene.

“Okay, buddy. That's enough. Say goodbye to your baby-momma,” Sam said, scooping the dog back up.

Dickie whined a little bit but came along willingly, resting on Sam's shoulder to stare at the throne as the man walked away. Everyone else was standing around awkwardly in a group, unsure of what else to say or do. After a few minutes of uncomfortable glances and coughing, Bobby broke the silence.

“Well, uh... I sorta promised the angels I'd have these fellas back home soon,” he mumbled, bashfully meeting Crowley's eyes.

“Y – Yes, of course,” Crowley nodded, sounding kind of disappointed, “Do you need me to get you back?”

“No, no. That's alright. We can just, you know, go back through the portal,” Bobby mentioned.

“Right. Guards,” Crowley called, waving a few demons into the room, “Escort these gentlemen back to the same place they came in.”

The demons nodded and started for the door, ready to lead the hunters away. But Bobby lingered behind for a moment. The old man carefully reached out to place a gentle hand on Crowley's shoulder and paused to look him in the eye.

“I'm glad you're alright,” Bobby said quietly, “Feel free to drop by the house anytime.”

“Oh, I fully intend to, old friend,” Crowley whispered back with a subtle wink.

Sam resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Ugh, those two were so in love that it was starting to gross him out. Bobby patted Crowley's shoulder before turning to glance at Rowena.

“Ma'am, it was nice meetin' you,” he said politely, tilting his hat up.

“Oooh, did you hear that, Fergus? He called me ma'am,” she grinned, “You better not let this one slip through your pudgy fingers.”

“Shut up, mum,” Crowley sighed in exasperation.

He and Bobby shared one last look with each other before the hunters finally followed the guards out of the room, leaving Crowley alone with his mother again. When the doors closed behind them, Sam stole a glance at Bobby as they walked side-by-side and could tell that the guy was radiantly happy. A warm smile was stuck just beneath his beard, making his whole face glow with delight. Just looking at him made Sam smile, too. It was so nice that Bobby had someone that he loved. And from everything he had just witnessed, Sam was pretty sure that Crowley loved him back...

The guards stopped at the blackened arch in the hallway and turned to the side, letting the Winchesters pass by even though they were wearing looks of apprehension. Dean and Bobby seemed to hang back a bit, so Sam went through first, making sure he had Dickie tight in his arms. Just like before, going through the portal felt like walking through a doorway. Everything was black at first, but then the light of day came bursting through the darkness. Sam had to blink several times to get his sight to adjust to the contrast.

When Bobby's garage finally came into focus, Sam recognized Gabe and Cas first. The two angels were standing next to each other near a workbench with worried faces. But when Sam walked in with Dickie in hand, Gabriel stood up at once and started walking toward him. Sam smiled as he watched his beloved archangel come closer, thinking that he was about to get a giant hug – but Gabriel reared his hand back and slapped Sam's face instead. Sam gasped and held his own cheek in shock.

“Ow!” he groaned, “What was that - ?”

Sam didn't get to finish his question because Gabriel yanked him down into a sudden kiss afterward. The archangel clung hard to the front of Sam's shirt as he almost choked the man with his tongue. Sam blinked at Gabe's golden hair as they kissed, feeling so confused. Why did Gabriel slap him and then kiss him? The guy eventually pulled away to breathe and gave Sam a serious stare.

“Don't you ever run into hell again without kissing me first, Sam Winchester,” Gabe breathed, “I mean it.”

“O – okay,” Sam squeaked, “I'm sorry..?”

“You're damn right you are. Now kiss me again,” Gabe demanded.

Sam smiled as he lowered his head to meet the archangel's mouth again. His cheek stung a bit but it was totally worth it to taste the sweet flavor of Gabriel's tongue against his own. The two of them stayed in their passionate embrace until Sam felt a tap on his shoulder. He gently pulled away to look up and see Bobby standing next to them.

“Can I talk to you fellas for a minute?” he asked.

“Oh, what is it now, Singer? Can't you see I need my moose time?!” Gabriel grumbled.

“I think you'll wanna hear this,” Bobby persuaded.

Even though Gabriel obviously wanted to keep kissing, he huffed a breath and let go of Sam so that the two of them could turn around. Bobby wrangled Dean, Cas, Gabe, and Sam all into a giant circle so that he could look at them all and speak.

“I, uh, I wouldn't have been able to do this without you boys,” the old man began in a thankful tone, glancing around at each of their faces, “I really appreciate everything you did to make this happen. And I know Crowley does too. So, as a thank you for all your help... I'm giving you this.”

Bobby paused his speech to dig a small metal box out of his pocket. There was some kind of strange symbol on the front that Sam couldn't recognize and the container looked like it was made of bronze or gold. Bobby held out the box to Dean, who took it and opened it up to reveal a huge key. Dean picked up the metal key and held it in his hand so that everyone could see it, but they were all confused.

“What is this, Bobby?” the older Winchester asked.

The smile hidden inside Bobby's beard grew warm as he stared a loving stare with Dean.

“Have you ever heard of the Men of Letters?” he asked.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure you read the map right?” Dean asked over his shoulder without looking away from the road.

“How many ways are there to read a map, freckles?” Gabriel replied curtly from the backseat, staring at the paper in his lap, “Yes, I read it correctly. In fact, we should be coming up on the place soon.”

“Do we need to be looking for something, Gabe? What's the street name?” Sam asked from the front.

“Uh, there's no street name. Singer just wrote 'power plant' next to the place he circled,” Gabe answered.

Everyone in the Impala instantly glanced out the windows, all searching for a large building that resembled a power plant. Although he was trying his best to remain hopeful, Dean was a little hesitant to believe that this 'bunker' Bobby told them about would still be there. The old man said that it was built in the 1930s. Surely some kids would have found the place and vandalized it by now. Or a coven of witches could have turned it into their ritual grounds or something. There was no way an empty bunker could have been left in good enough condition to be turned into a livable home...

“Did Bobby even say how he found out about this place?” Dean asked out loud, still searching for a big building.

“I think he said some guy came to his house and gave him the key and the map. Said the guy kinda looked liked dad, but Bobby was drunk at the time, so he doesn't really remember,” Sam mentioned.

“Perhaps we could call Bobby and ask for better directions,” Cas suggested.

“That won't do any good. He's never been there,” Gabe said.

What?” Dean breathed.

His foot unintentionally slammed the brake and everyone in the car jerked forward, including Jude and Jessica, who promptly giggled at the unexpected thrilling sensation.

“Bobby's never been there before? Then, what are we doing here? There could be anything in that bunker! How do we know it's safe?” Dean insisted.

“Geez, Dean-o, would you relax? Your incessant worrying is really killing the whole 'happy house hunting' mood for us,” Gabriel sighed.

Dean rolled his eyes. Happy house hunting? It wasn't even a house! It was an underground bunker! Cas's warm hand left hand discretely slid onto Dean's thigh and gave it a comforting squeeze.

“It's alright, Dean. Gabriel and I will do a thorough search of the area before you and the children go inside,” he offered.

Dean took a deep breath and searched his angel's ocean blue eyes. Once again, Cas was willing to run headlong into potential danger for his family without any regard for his own safety. The thought of Cas's courage and loyalty instantly made Dean feel more relaxed. Where would he be – hell, where would any of them be – without Cas?

“Daddy!” Jude called excitedly from the backseat.

Dean turned in the front seat to look back at his son, who was dressed warmly and wearing a soft smile. Jude leaned forward as far as he could against his car seat straps to point at something through Jessica's window.

“It's the Batcave!” he grinned, blue eyes lighting up.

Dean – along with everyone else, including Dickie, who climbed up in Gabe's lap – spun around to look in the direction Jude was pointing and saw a cellar-like entryway on the other side of the road. A gigantic power plant was situated high up on the hill above them, looking like it had been abandoned for decades. But down the hill, hidden in plain sight, was a door that appeared to lead underground. It looked like a service entrance for the power plant. Dean blinked at the circular brick wall around the door in the distance, feeling his own heart beat with secret satisfaction. Holy crap, Jude was right. The bunker had a secret doorway just like the Batcave...

While everyone stared at the entrance in silence, Jessica nudged Dickie out of the way and struggled to stretch up in her car seat to peer out through the window next to her. Once her pretty eyes were finally able to see across the road, she sucked in a sudden gasp of surprise.

We're home!” the little girl shouted with a smile.

Everyone gave Jessica approving smiles and looks, but Dean was a little confused. Home? Wasn't it a little too early to be calling this place 'home'? None of them had even gone inside yet... Gabe leaned over and pecked the top of Jess's golden head with a kiss.

“We just might be, baby-rabbit. But first, Papa and uncle Cas have to go and make sure the coast is clear,” the archangel hummed before nodding toward his brother, “C'mon, Cassie. Let's go do a quick sweep so Deanie-boy will feel better.”

Cas gave Dean's thigh another tender squeeze before disappearing from the car. With their angels gone, Dean and Sam were left sitting in the car with their children, who seemed really excited to have arrived at the underground bunker. Jude and Jessica both stared out the window fondly, looking over the entrance as if they couldn't believe they were seeing it. Sam must have been feeling the same way Dean did about what Jessica said, because the kid cleared his throat and turned around to look at his little girl.

“Jess,” he began, his voice soft and warm, “Why did you say we're home?”

“'Cause that's our home, Daddy,” she insisted, pressing her tiny index finger against the window, “That's where we're gonna live.”

Dean and Sam shared a brief look of confusion and shock before Sam brought his attention back to his daughter.

“Uh... How do you know that, sunshine?” Sammy asked.

“'Cause I saw it before. When I was sleeping,” she said seriously, still pointing out the window, “That's where you and Papa is gonna show me how to ride my bike. And uncle Cassie is gonna show Jude how to fly. We're gonna be so happy!”

It felt like Dean's heart melted into a puddle of warm goo in his chest. He and Sam slowly looked at each other again with open mouths and equal looks of awe. Jessica must have had another dream about the future. And if what she said was true – if this really was the place where Jude and Jessica were going to learn how to ride their bikes and get comfortable with flying – then that meant the Winchesters were sitting in front of their new home. And Dean could barely cope with the overwhelming emotion it gave him...

Before another word could be said, Cas and Gabriel popped back up beside the Impala. Gabriel was wearing a huge goofy grin, looking like he had just come out of a theme park. Hell, even Cas was wearing a small smile. Why did they look so pleased? Gabriel bent down and leaned his blonde head into Sam's open window to glance between the two brothers.

“You two are going to absolutely flip your shit when you go in there,” Gabe whispered, quiet enough so that the kids in the backseat couldn't hear, “It's like a hunter's paradise! C'mon! Get out! You've gotta come and see this!”

With his niece's prediction still working wonders on his heart, Dean awkwardly shifted around to open his door and climb out of the car. His first order of business was going to the back and getting Jude of his car seat. The little boy seemed so excited; grinning widely and practically scurrying into Dean's arms. Jude was clearly just as interested about getting inside the bunker as his cousin was. His tiny hands clung to Dean's shoulders as the man rounded the trunk to get to Cas. The blue-eyed angel met them with a warm smile and an extended hand, which Dean gingerly took with his own.

“Is there anyone in there?” Dean asked as they all crossed the street together.

“No. It seems to have been unoccupied for a very long time, Dean,” Cas answered.

“Slow down, Dickster. It's not a race,” Gabriel called to his dog, who was already halfway to the entrance.

Dean held onto his son with one hand and Cas's hand with his other as he walked with his family, unsure of what lay on the other side of the door. After hearing what Jessica said and getting Gabriel's positive report, Dean actually felt a lot better about the bunker. He just wasn't sure if an underground shelter would be 'home' material.

Gabriel led the way inside with his dog, followed closely by everyone else. During their initial recon of the place, the angels had apparently turned all the lights on. So when the Winchesters entered the bunker for the first time, they were met with a beautiful sight of a balcony overlooking a small circular room. Dean and Jude held on tight to each other as they both peered down over the metal railing to see the inside. A lit table displaying a world map was in the middle, surrounded by chairs and old circuit boards lining the walls. Dean's eyes wandered all over the bright room, drinking in the first view of his possible home.

“Whoa,” Sam breathed, sounding impressed, “This place still has power?”

“Yep. And water,” Gabe nodded, “I flushed a toilet on the way through to see if it still worked and it totally refilled itself. Wait until you see the next room, kid. I think you might spontaneously orgasm when you see it – ”

Gabriel!” Sam hissed, his face turning red as he spared a glance at the little girl in his arms, “There are tiny ears present!”

“Oops, my bad,” Gabriel mumbled, glancing at Jessica and scratching his head, “... but seriously, moose. This next room is going to make you C – R – E – A – M your pants.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Sam huffed with embarrassment as he followed his archangel boyfriend down the stairs.

Dean shook his head but smiled. Not even five minutes into their first visit of the bunker and Gabriel was already making dirty jokes. This was going to be an interesting tour... When they were all on the lower level, the Winchesters migrated to the wide doorway in the center of the far wall, which led into another giant room. Dean slowly edged around the glowing table – pausing for a moment to let Jude see the giant glowing map because he seemed interested in it – before wandering up to stand next to Sam and Gabe in the doorway.

Gabriel was right. This room was pretty impressive. Shelves of old books and antique weapons were neatly organized along the walls, accenting the single row of tables and lamps in the middle of the room. It was like a large library, filled with all the information and quiet space that anyone would need to figure out a case or just sit and study. It was the environment Sammy loved the most. Dean spared a glance at his younger brother next to him and could see the absolute astonishment in his face. Gabriel seemed to notice it too, because he leaned over to nudge Sam's side.

“Well, Sammy-boy? Does it make you wanna come or what?” the archangel whispered.

“Y – yeah,” Sam breathed, shuffling over to look at a bookshelf with Jessica in his arms, “I – I love it... Holy crap, some of these books look ancient.”

“Told ya,” Gabe smirked proudly, “Wait until you see the rest.”

“My room next! My room next!” Jessica called enthusiastically.

Everyone watched as the little blonde girl wiggled her way out of Sam's grasp to get down. Her sparkly rainbow shoes shimmered against the dark floor as she grabbed both Sam and Gabriel's hands and tugged them forward, pulling them back toward the first room. Sam and Gabriel willingly stumbled along with their daughter's direction. In fact, all the adults followed Jessica's direction, because it seemed like the little girl knew exactly where she was going. She led them down a long corridor of white and gray brick walls, taking a few turns down a T-shaped route. Once they got to a particular door in the hallway of rooms, Jessica let go of her fathers' hands and struggled to reach the doorknob.

“Hold on, Jess. We don't know what's in there. It could be scary,” Sam warned, trying to stop her from barging into the room.

“It's not scary, Daddy. It's my room,” she said again.

Jessica eventually reached the doorknob and turned it open, revealing a small dark room. The little girl raced inside and Sam stretched a long arm after her to flip on the light switch. The room was pretty plain; just a twin-sized bed, a dresser, and an old wooden desk with a lamp. It looked like a gentleman's dorm room from the 1930s. Sam and Gabriel followed their daughter inside while Dean, Jude, and Cas stood at the doorway, watching her run around and point to various spots.

“That's where my dollies go,” she said, wearing a huge smile, “That's where my bunny sleeps... That's where my tea pot sits... and Papa's gonna paint purple walls!”

“I – am?” Gabriel stuttered, looking confused as hell.

“Uh-huh. It's gonna be like a princess castle!” Jessica smiled, almost jumping up and down with excitement.

Gabriel turned his bewildered gaze up to Sam, looking completely lost. Sam shrugged his shoulders in return.

“She said she saw it in a dream,” he explained.

“Lots of dreams,” Jessica corrected with a nod, making her blonde curls dance around, “And Jude's room is right here.”

Jessie bolted back out of her room and ran straight to the door across the hall, reaching up on the tips of her toes to turn the doorknob and push it open. When Jess went into the new dark room, Jude started shifting out of Dean's arms; gently pushing against his hold to signal that he wanted to get down. Dean carefully stood his child up in the hallway but Jude didn't go far. He clung to the hem of Cas's trench coat and craned his neck to see inside the room, timid but curious. Dean reached in and turned the light on so that they could see the inside, but this room looked identical to the one across the hall.

“Look, Jude! It's your room!” Jessica said, spinning in circles to gesture to the entire space.

Jude stepped a little closer to the threshold to look around, his blue-eyes wide with eagerness.

“What's gonna be in here, Jessie?” he asked, staring at his cousin with hopefulness.

“A Batman lamp right here... A pretty bike over there...” she predicted, before climbing up on the bed to point at the wall directly behind it, “And your map is gonna be right here.”

Tears were suddenly pressing at the back of Dean's eyes as he stared at the blank space above the headboard of the bed. Jude's map – the one currently stowed in the back of the Impala with the rest of their valuables – was going to hang there, just like Dean had always imagined. The man tried to hold back his emotions so that his family wouldn't see. He didn't want to get all blubbery in the middle of their first tour. Jude tugged on Cas's coat and looked up at him with a giant smile.

“Papa, I've got a room!” he said, voice high with delight.

“Yes you do, son,” Cas nodded, gently touching Jude's cheek.

Dean watched the tender exchange between his angel and their child, unable to stop a single tear from leaking out of the corner of his eye. Jude finally had a room. Their son finally had a place to call his own, complete with a bed and dressers and space. Dean had wanted to give him a room before he was even born and now he actually had one. And it made Dean feel so happy...

“C'mon, Jude,” Jessica sang, running up to grab Jude's hand, “I'll show you the room where we're gonna build pillow forts!”

The smile widened on Jude's face as he followed his giggling cousin out the door. The toddlers started off down the hall together, holding hands.

“Hey,” Dean called, quickly wiping the moisture from his eye, “You two be careful.”

“Don't worry. We'll keep up with them,” Gabriel promised, “Hey, Cassie. Why don't you show Dean-o that one room we saw on the way in while the moose and I wrangle these munchkins?”

Cas nodded in agreement as Gabriel and Sam started down the hall after the kids. Dean looked back at his angel in wonder, curious to know what Gabe was talking about.

“What room?” he asked.

Instead of answering straight away, Cas reached out to hook their fingers back together again. He tugged on Dean's hand a bit as he took a step away, leading him in the opposite direction. Dean willingly walked along with Cas's guidance, trusting that he knew where he was going.

“When Gabriel and I first came through this area, two rooms caught our immediate attention,” he began, walking the hall at a gentle pace, “One was the large study of course, because Gabriel knew Sam was going to enjoy it the most. And the other was this one, which I think you will find most pleasing.”

Dean's heart thumped hard behind his chest. He had no idea what kind of room Cas was leading him to. Was it an armory full of weapons? Some kind of secret hiding place? A sex dungeon full of whips and chains? The more he thought about the different possibilities, the more excited he became. There was an equally animated look on Cas's face as the angel finally slowed to a stop at door and pushed it open with his free hand. He stepped to the side to let Dean enter first and the man took a deep breath before going in.

The scent of motor oil and rubber met Dean in the doorway as he walked inside the huge room. Various cars and motorcycles – some of which looked old enough to be antiques – were parked inside individual booths, stationed against the walls and waiting patiently to be driven. This room was a full-on garage, equipped with all the goodies that a mechanic or car lover could ever want. Dean felt like he was suddenly standing inside his childhood fantasy. Jude was right. This place really was the Batcave.

Holy shit,” he breathed, his voice echoing around the extremely large room.

Not only did this bunker have a massive study and too many rooms to count – but a car garage?! It was everything Dean ever wanted! Hell, it was more than he ever wanted. Never in his wildest dreams did Dean ever imagine that he would actually live in a nice huge place like this. It was nuts! They couldn't actually live here, could they? It was too good to be true, wasn't it?

“Do you like it, Dean?”

The man spun around to face his angel, who was casually leaning against one of the classic cars. Dean's eyes danced up and down the sight of Cas blending in so perfectly with the backdrop and his heart soared. God, Cas looked so good next to a classic sports car...

“I freakin' love it, baby,” he answered truthfully, stepping over to touch the hood of the car, “but... None of this stuff is ours. I mean, it belongs to someone else, doesn't it?”

“It did at a certain point in time. But the organization that once owned it seems to have abandoned it, and I don't think there is any harm in using something that has been abandoned. Do you, Dean?” Cas asked.

“I... guess not,” Dean replied carefully, rubbing his fingertips against the smooth glossy car paint.

Dean really was happy about being in this grand place, but he just couldn't believe that they might actually get to live there. What if the Men of Letters suddenly came back and found a family of hunters and angels living in their headquarters? What if the Winchesters settled in to this place only to get kicked out again? What if getting to live here really was too good to be true? Cas must have been able to sense Dean's unspoken worry, because the angel's eyes softened and he held his hand out.

“Come, Dean,” he gently beckoned, “There's still one room left for you to see.”

Although he was hesitant to see more of the bunker because he knew he would fall in love with it, Dean took Cas's hand anyway. The angel curled his fingers around the man's and gently pulled him back toward the door, leading him toward the white and gray corridors again. Dean stole one last glance at all the cool vehicles behind him before shuffling along with Cas. In the back of his mind, Dean was convinced that the last room was going to be a bedroom; somewhere that Cas picked out for the two of them to sleep together and make their own.

But instead, the angel stopped abruptly in the hall and turned to the left, revealing a doorway that led into a kitchen.

It was an industrial sized kitchen, equipped with vintage refrigerators, stoves, and cook wear. A stainless steel island was positioned in the center of the room with pots and pans hanging over it from a ceiling rack. A small wooden table with rounded seats sat off to the right side, with a white sink and bulletin board on the wall next to it. Dean's eyes wandered over the entire space, taking it all in. He could totally see himself sneaking in here at two in the morning for a slice of pie, or cooking up breakfast for the kids on the weekend. It was a cozy kitchen; a warm and welcoming place where everyone could eat and be happy.

“I believe this one is my favorite,” Cas admitted quietly.

Dean instantly looked at the angel next to him. The man had been so busy worrying and fretting that he didn't even stop to think about how Cas felt. The small smile on the dude's pretty face was enough to let Dean know that he loved it. Dean coughed a little bit and gave Cas's hand a squeeze.

“I like it, too,” he agreed softly.

The two of them stood in the doorway for a moment and just looked around at all the old décor, holding each others' hands and enjoying the small silence. Cas eventually took a few steps forward, pulling Dean toward the metal island in the middle. Dean assumed that Cas was coming closer to observe the metal pots and pans, but the angel's free hand dove into his pocket instead. The man watched closely as Cas pulled something large out of his pocket and placed it on the metal counter.

It was an unopened jar of honeycomb honey.

Dean blinked repeatedly at the jar as Cas slid it forward to position it in the middle of the counter. Damn, that thing looked so familiar. Where did Dean see it before? It took a few moments for him to shuffle through some old memories, but Dean finally realized -

“I... I bought you that,” he breathed, pointing at the honey jar, “For – for Valentine's Day. Before Jude was born.”

“Yes,” Cas nodded with a smile.

“But, you... You still have it,” Dean said, feeling waves of emotion start to crash over him, “You've held onto it all this time? For three whole years?”

“Of course I have, Dean,” Cas replied, “It's my most cherished possession.”

New tears were starting to swell up in Dean's eyes. He was at a total loss for words. He had given Cas that jar of honey on the same night they created their son, which meant Cas had carried it around all this time. Going from state to state, motel room to motel room. Through all those restless nights they were up changing diapers and rushed mornings they barely had time to eat breakfast. Through their child's first word, first steps, first hair cut. From the moment Jude was conceived on that hilltop until now, Cas never let go of Dean's gift. The angel had kept it in his pocket for this very moment in time – so that he could finally put it in their kitchen...

Cas carefully twisted the jar around until the honeycomb was catching the light. It gave the whole room a touch of orange glow; tying everything together to make it feel like an actual home. As Dean stared down at the jar on the counter, every doubt he had about the bunker disappeared. It didn't matter whether they were in cramped motel room or a giant underground palace. As long as Dean and Cas were together with their family, they were already home. The bunker was just the icing on the cake.

“Daddy? Papa?”

Dean and Cas both turned to the doorway at the sound of their son's tiny voice. Jude seemed to have been looking for them because he carefully stepped down into the room and walked over to hold up both arms, wanting to be held and included. Dean instantly scooped up his son and gave him a meaningful hug; wrapping him into the most tender embrace he could muster. The baby-like scent in Jude's hair filled Dean's nose and he could feel the kid's heart beating against his own chest. Dean was hugging his son and staring at Cas in front of him, feeling overwhelmed with emotion. Cas had given him so much; so many amazing, life-changing things that he would never be able to repay.

“Thank you, Cas,” Dean almost croaked, his voice cracking as a tear threatened to fall from his eye.

The angel's eyebrows scrunched in confusion.

“For what?” he asked.

“For this,” Dean breathed, cradling the back of their son's fragile head, “... For everything.”

Although Dean couldn't exactly put what he was feeling into words, Cas seemed to understand what he was trying to say. His blue eyes gradually softened and he stepped forward to join Dean and Jude's hug, wrapping both of his arms around them in a loving embrace. Dean immediately hooked an arm around Cas's back too, holding him close to kiss the side of his head. He never wanted to let either of them go. Dean wanted to hold Cas and Jude in their new kitchen forever and keep feeling his heart throb with warm emotion.

“Daddy,” Jude breathed as he clung to Dean's neck, “are you crying?”

“N – no,” Dean lied, quickly letting go of Cas to clear his eyes, “Daddy and Papa were just, uh, talking about stuff... How do you like the Batcave, little man?”

“I love it!” Jude said, popping his head up with a smile, “Can we stay here, Daddy? Pretty please?”

Dean flashed a quick glance at Cas, who smiled brightly in return.

“You know what? Every superhero needs a secret lair, and I think this one is yours, Jude,” Dean smirked, giving his son a wink, “Yeah, we're gonna stay.”

“Of course we're gonna stay. This place is awesome,” Gabriel called.

Dean, Cas, and Jude all looked to the entrance of the kitchen, where Gabriel wandered in with Sam, Jessica, and Dickie. The four of them looked around the kitchen in wonder, admiring all the furniture and cook wear.

“Bleck! Look how small those fridges are,” the archangel mentioned, shaking his head, “My massive hoard of candy will never fit in there. We're gonna have to upgrade to some newer models.”

“Uh, no,” Dean denied, shaking his head, “You can do whatever you want with the rest of this bunker, but the kitchen is strictly off limits. Cas and I already called dibs and we're keeping it the way it is.”

“Geez, fine,” Gabriel said, dramatically raising both hands in surrender as he glanced back at Sam, “You hear that, kiddo? That means we get to put the water slide in the study like I wanted.”

“Gabriel, for the last time, there are not going to be any water slides in the bunker,” Sam huffed, turning to walk back out of the kitchen.

“Uh! But what about when it gets hot in the summer time? I've already bought a speedo and everything!” Gabriel argued, chasing after Sam.

Jessica giggled at her daddies before prancing over to tug on Jude's dangling foot.

“C'mon, Jude. Let's go play!” she beckoned with a sweet smile.

Dean gave his son's face a gentle kiss before lowering him into the floor with his cousin. Jude and Jessica instantly locked hands before dashing back out of the room with Dickie on their heels, heading toward some other part of the bunker. For once, Dean actually felt comfortable with letting his child out of sight. He didn't have to worry about Jude getting hurt or lost, because they were home.

Once they were alone again, Dean turned to pull Cas into another close embrace; resting their foreheads together so that he could look into the blue eyes he fell in love with so long ago...

“This room is my favorite too, Cas,” he whispered, letting his hands wander up and down the angel's back.

Cas's smile widened a bit – before turning a little suggestive.

“Then, perhaps we should properly christen it tonight, Dean,” the angel whispered, placing a single hand on the metal counter next to them.

Goosebumps flashed across Dean's skin with sudden arousal. Was Cas honestly suggesting that they have sex on the kitchen counter? The heat hidden in the angel's stare was unmistakeably clear. Damn. Cas was so sexy when he talked dirty like that...

“Oh, we're definitely gonna christen it, baby,” Dean nodded, easing closer, “As many times as you want.”

Cas grinned and searched along Dean's face before finally bringing their lips together. The two of them kissed each other affectionately, running their hands up and down each others' hips and arms. Dean felt very blessed in that moment; grateful for everything that life – everything that Chuck – had given him.

“I love you, Cas,” Dean reminded, his lips brushing against the angel's.

Cas nuzzled closer into Dean's arms, smiling up at him with admiration and fondness.

“I love you too, Dean,” he replied in a whisper.

Chapter Text

Bobby strained his eyes to read the incredibly small text on the map in his hand. The hunter was parked on the side of the road with his dogs in tow, trying to figure out where in the hell he was. He knew he had to be somewhere close to that Men of Letters bunker, because his truck had just crossed into Lebanon. But snow was starting to flurry around which made it harder to focus on the road signs. Plus, Willy and Humphrey were rough-housing in the seat beside him and it didn't make it any easier to concentrate.

“Would you two knock it off?” Bobby snapped at the dogs to his right, “You're shakin' the whole damn truck.”

Willy and Humphrey instantly popped their furry heads up and untangled themselves from a wrestling pose at their owner's command. Bobby usually didn't mind them playing with each other, but he was trying to find the boys' place now. It was Christmas day and he really wanted to see the kids open their presents before the sun went down. He had been traveling since nine o'clock that morning to get here and he wasn't about to let his rabble of demonic hounds screw it up. Peter, unlike his rowdy brothers, was an obedient statue at Bobby's side; still and level-headed as ever. Once silence settled in the truck again, the old man went back to looking at the map.

Dean and Sam told him that the bunker was easy to miss because it was hidden in plain sight, but Bobby didn't realize that the place would be this hard to find. When he first got the key to the place from a guy at his doorstep – an encounter that Bobby barely remembered because he had gotten drunk off his ass after a successful ghoul hunt and wasn't expect visitors – he figured that he would eventually get around to investigating the bunker. But his was the first trip he had ever taken to get there.

The Winchesters, on the other hand, had been living there for almost a month now. They had all given Bobby good reports about the bunker, and the affectionate way Dean and Sam talked about their new 'home' made the old man proud to be the one that gave them the key. Bobby figured that place was always meant for the Winchesters and their babies – who were undoubtedly having a great Christmas at the moment. And he was missing the whole thing...

“Balls,” Bobby grumbled.

The old man folded up his map and tossed it aside, overcome with frustration. He had been on the road for six hours and he still wasn't there yet, dammit! There was a bag full of gifts in the truck that Jude and Jessica still needed to open before the day was over! How in the hell was he supposed to find the damn place when it was completely hidden from view?

“Screw it. I'm callin' 'em,” the old man huffed under his breath to his dogs.

Peter, Willy, and Humphrey all watched with their ears perked up as Bobby dug his phone out of his pocket and dialed Dean's number. His eyes were fixed on the snowflakes falling on the hood of his truck as he listened to the phone ring in his ear. Willy and Humphrey eventually went back to wrestling each other in the seat when Dean finally picked up.

“Hey, Bobby,” he answered, sounding pretty chipper, “Where are you, man? The kids have been asking for you.”

“I, uh, must've gotten turned around or somethin', 'cause I don't see the power plant anywhere,” Bobby replied, looking out through the windshield.

“Alright, well, where are you now?” Dean asked.

“I'm not sure. I'm parked on the side of the road near a gas station... Gas-N-Sip? The hell kinda name is that?” Bobby uttered to himself, giving the sign another strange glance.

Dean chuckled on the other end of the line, finding humor in Bobby's distraught question.

“You're not too far away. Just sit tight and I'll come and get you in the Impala, okay?” he offered.

“Alright,” Bobby sighed, “Just make it quick. Snow's pickin' up.”

“Okay. See you in a few,” Dean replied happily.

After the line went dead, Bobby took his cell phone down and gave it a small smile. It was nice to hear actual happiness in Dean's voice for a change. The boy had been through enough heartache and it was about time things started working out for him. The old man put his phone back in his pocket before shifting around to give a short whistle. The dogs in the seat paused their new wrestling match to look up at him, maroon eyes wide and tails stuck straight up.

“You two are gonna earn yourselves a night in the basement if you don't cut it out,” the old man warned.

The hounds whimpered a bit as they let go of each other and backed up to sit next to their brother. The next fifteen minutes seemed to drag by. It wasn't long before Bobby found himself staring out at drifting snowflakes... and thinking about Crowley. What was the old demon doing today? Was he still taking care of his mother? Was he out collecting more souls? Surely Crowley didn't celebrate Christmas. Bobby knew the guy probably couldn't take time off from his busy schedule of running hell to visit the lowly humans on the surface anyway. Even if it was a holiday... Still, Bobby wished that he could see him. Getting to talk to Crowley again would make a nice present. Plus, Bobby had a little present of his own to give the old bat, too...

A few loud honks stirred Bobby from his deep thoughts.

The Impala was suddenly parked behind his truck, housing Dean, who was waving through the windshield. Bobby took a deep breath before reaching over to grab the huge back full of gifts from the floor board.

“C'mon, boys,” he beckoned, ushering the dogs out.

Pete, Willy, and Humphrey hopped out of the truck in a single file line and followed the old man to the Impala, where Bobby let them all into the backseat. He figured that Dean would say something about the animals stinking up his car or something, but the kid never said a word. He just watched them all climb in with a smile on his face, seeming giddy beyond measure.

“Hey,” Dean smirk when Bobby finally sat down in the passenger seat, “Whoa, that's a big bag. Did you rob Santa on the way here?”

Bobby glanced down at the large bag in his hand as Dean pulled a U-turn and got back on the road.

“Pretty much,” he mumbled, “I just hope the kids like it. How was their Christmas mornin'?”

“It was... amazing,” Dean grinned, staring out at the road with an indescribable amount of joy, “Hands down, best Christmas I've ever had. Jude and Jessica both got bikes and, ugh, you should have seen the looks on their little faces, man. They freaked right out. They were so happy. I've never seen Jude smile so much. After they opened presents, we all had a huge pancake breakfast – Oh, by the way, the kitchen is a wreck right now, so you'll have to over look the mess when you get there – but after we ate, Gabe made Sam dress up like a reindeer and pull the kids around the study in an old wooden bobsled. It was hilarious, Bobby! Jude and Jess loved it. But then they got really tired, so we all piled up in front of the TV in Sam's room and fell asleep to some Christmas cartoons...”

A subtle smile lifted Bobby's face as he listened to Dean go on and on about the amazing Christmas morning he had with his family. It sounded like the boys were finally able to have the life they always wanted, and Bobby was truly happy for them... But hearing about their happiness somehow reminded him of his own sadness. Dean must have been able to tell it was affecting Bobby too, because his delighted story trailed off and he gave the old man a few worried glances.

“You okay?” he asked.

Bobby cleared his throat and shifted in his seat.

“Uh, yeah. Fine. Why?” he replied.

“You just seem a little quiet,” Dean pointed out, “How was your morning, huh? Did you get a visit from the king of hell?”

An uneasy discomfort came over Bobby at the mention of Crowley and he lowered his head to block his face with the bill of his hat.

“No,” he admitted, hearing the ache in his own voice, “I... I haven't seen him since we went to hell...”

“What?” Dean blurted.

The kid accidentally jerked the wheel in surprise, making the Impala swerve on the road. The dogs in the backseat huddled together between Jude and Jessica's car seats, acting like they were afraid of Dean's driving skills.

“Why hasn't he come to see you? It's been a whole month,” the kid said, sounding outraged.

“I don't know,” Bobby mumbled in response, “I guess he's busy dealin' with his mother or somethin'. It ain't my place to ask questions anyway. His business ain't none of my business.”

“But you're in relationship, Bobby. That means his business is your business,” Dean challenged softly, “Look man, you're like a dad to me. And I don't mean to lecture you or whatever... but if you seriously love this guy and he loves you, don't you think he needs to start proving it? I mean, you went to hell for him. Hell itself! If he can't even spare five minutes just to come and check on you, then maybe he's not, you know, 'boyfriend' material.”

The old man only took a deep breath in reply. In his mind, Bobby knew Dean was right. The kid was just speaking the truth. But in his heart – way down deep, where he kept all his most private emotions – Bobby couldn't agree. Over the few short years they'd been together, Bobby had come to know the king of hell better than anyone. Crowley acted like a pompous asshole most of the time, sure. But when they were alone together, the guy was a totally different person; so caring and sweet, always leaving treats for the dogs, cleaning up the salvage yard, and restocking Bobby's liquor supply without even being asked. Crowley was a really easy man to talk to when no one else was around, too. Well read and almost philosophical. Just remembering some of the deep conversations they had on the couch at two in the morning made Bobby's heart ache. Damn, he missed that bastard so much...

“I'm sorry... I just... I don't want to see you get hurt, Bobby,” Dean mumbled gently, reaching over to give the old man's knee a single pat.

“I know, son,” Bobby breathed, finally raising his head to look out the window, “I know...”

It didn't take very much longer to get to the bunker. The giant abandoned power plant was perched way up on a hill, and Bobby figured that was the reason he couldn't find it before. He assumed that Dean was going to park the car on the side of the road and lead him inside – but instead, a large hidden door opened up around the side and Dean pulled into a huge garage.

Bobby's mouth fell open as he glanced around to see multiple old cars parked around the space. Motorcycles and vehicles that looked like they dated back to the thirties and forties – even a Model-T Ford that seemed to be in good working condition – were sitting on both sides of the room in individual booths. Bobby's heart nearly skipped a beat. After working a salvage yard for most of his life, seeing these antique cars in such a good state made him feel like a teenager all over again.

“Is that a... 1952 Porsche Speedster?” he gasped, nearly pressing his face against the Impala's passenger window.

“Damn right it is,” Dean nodded with a smirk, “I've got the keys in my room. Feel free to take her for a spin if you want.”

“What? Really?” Bobby exhaled, spinning around to look at Dean with a raised eyebrow.

“Yeah. Me casa es su casa,” the boy shrugged, shutting off the Impala and opening his door, “In fact, if you see one you really like, it's all yours. Apart from the Impala, of course. Consider it a Christmas gift.”

“Huh?! N – no, I couldn't just take one of these... gorgeous cars...” Bobby slowly denied, even though his eyes were still fixed on the beautiful cherry-red Porsche to his right.

Dean chuckled again as he stepped out to let the dogs out of the backseat. Peter, Willy, and Humphrey all hopped into the garage to race around, giving the place a nice sniff. Bobby shifted the large bag of of gifts around in his grasp as he slowly got out of the car and followed Dean across the room while gawking at all the amazing vehicles. He couldn't believe that he actually had permission to drive one of them, let alone actually keep one. Bobby didn't have the heart to take any of them from the bunker, though. After everything they had been through, the Winchesters deserved every single one.

“They're all waiting in the study,” Dean informed as he led the way to a door, “and, like I said, the kids are covered in flour from where we made pancakes this morning, so you might get a little dirty if they hug you.”

“That's alright,” Bobby mumbled, looking around in wonder as he followed Dean down a maze of white and gray tiled hallways, “This place is huge. Do you boys ever get lost?”

“Not really,” Dean answered with a shrug, “It's a pretty basic layout. Plus, Jessica and Gabe know where everything is. It's nice, right?”

“Nice ain't the word for it,” Bobby said, shaking his head in disbelief.

The bunker was bigger, cleaner, and more detailed than Bobby originally imagined. Here he thought the place was going to be a run-down hole that the boys would have to fix up, but no. The underground space was actually fully-functional and livable, and it made Bobby proud.

After cutting down a few more hallways, a doorway to a larger room came into view and Dean led the way inside. Bobby maneuvered his giant bag of goodies around as he and the dogs stepped up into the bright room. A lit table displaying a map was at the center of it, surrounded by chairs and old-timey circuit boards. Bobby kept gawking at all the fancy boards and symbols carved into the floor as he moved, unable to keep his focus on where he was going.

“Uncle Bobby!”

A sudden chorus of children's voices serenaded the old man as he stepped into the next room, making him jump in surprise. Jude and Jessica came rushing up to tackle Bobby's legs and waist, swarming him with an excited embrace. A smile flashed on Bobby's face as he looked down to see the youngsters' smiling faces. Man, they were so adorable. Like seeing little versions of Dean and Sam all over again.

“Hey, lil' rascals,” Bobby grinned, reaching down to pat their heads with his free hand.

“Did you got us presents, Uncle Bobby?” Jessica asked, her pretty eyes sparkling as she eyed the bag in Bobby's grasp.

“I sure did,” Bobby nodded.

“Jess, give Bobby some room, okay? We can open more presents in a minute,” Sam called.

Jude and Jessica both took a step back from Bobby, letting the old man see them properly. Jude was dressed in a green sweater and Jessica was wearing a red dress, both covered in flour and looking like something from a Christmas card. Sam and Gabriel were standing together near a table of the huge study and Dean had wandered over to stand near Cas in front of a Christmas tree, which was clearly decorated by the toddlers. Peter, Willy, and Humphrey found their dad and were currently chasing him around the room. Faint Christmas music was humming somewhere in the distance, too. And for a second, Bobby felt truly welcome. It felt like he had come home to see his own kids for the holidays and everyone was there... except one person. And it was the one person he missed the most...

Bobby quietly cleared his throat and sat his bag of goodies down, trying not to let the emotion show on his face. He didn't want to be the one responsible for ruining everyone's fun time.

“Well, I heard you two got some fancy new bikes for Christmas. Can I see 'em?” he asked, giving the toddlers a smile.

Jude and Jessica both gasped and sprinted away, darting toward the other end of the room with the dogs on their heels. Bobby grinned at their overzealous behavior, secretly enjoying their eagerness. While the toddlers went to get their bikes, Gabriel stepped out from under Sam's arm with a wrapped box in his hand to ease his way toward Bobby.

“Glad you could finally make it to our humble homestead, old-man-winter,” the archangel winked, hold out the box, “Here. We all chipped in and got you this.”

“Y'all didn't have to get me nothin',” Bobby grumbled, feeling hesitant to take it.

“Well, we didn't exactly 'chip in.' It kinda came with the bunker,” Sam casually mentioned.

“Plus, it's something that you and the ol' British ball-and-chain can use together,” Gabriel persuaded, bouncing his eyebrows.

The mention of Crowley added another sharp jab to Bobby's heart. In the corner of his eye, Bobby saw Dean cringe, too. But the old man didn't want anyone else to worry about his problems, so he quickly took the present and tore the wrapping paper off to reveal an old box – containing a bottle of finely aged scotch. Bobby pulled the glass bottle out of the container to read the hand-written label taped to the front.

“1894?” he read aloud, feeling his jaw drop again, “This scotch is over a hundred and twenty years old...”

“Yep. And it's never been opened,” Dean nodded, “We found it in one of the dorm rooms.”

“It's so strong, it'll probably make your chest hair curl up. You better use it wisely,” Gabe grinned, nudging Bobby's side.

Bobby didn't know what to say. First the boys offer him the chance to drive around a classic Porsche and then they give him age-old scotch? This was too much. Bobby didn't need all this fancy stuff. He just needed the love and support of his family.

“Th – thank you,” he mumbled, setting the bottle on a nearby table, “You boys are too good to me.”

Before any of them could reply to Bobby's statement, Jude and Jessica came rolling up on their new bikes. Each one had a set of training wheels to keep the kids balanced, but the bicycles each had their own distinct colors. Jessica's was covered in rainbow colors and sparkles, with plastic streamers hanging from the handle grips. And Jude's bike was painted with metallic blue and red colors, with hints of yellow running through it. Both toddlers were grinning from ear to ear as they pedaled up to stop in front of Bobby.

“Look, uncle Bobby! It has my name!” Jude proudly announced, pointing to the tiny license plate on the back.

“And mine has pretty wings!” Jessica sang, pointing to the white designs hidden through the metal bars.

“They look great, kids,” Bobby nodded, “You must have been real good this year - ”

A loud 'ding-dong' suddenly interrupted him, echoing through the whole bunker.

Everyone in the study turned to look toward the entrance where the sound came from, including the dogs, who all paused to raise their heads in question. All the adults were equally surprised. Bobby didn't know that the secret bunkers had doorbells. Who would be knocking on the Winchesters door on Christmas day?

“You fellas expectin' more company?” Bobby said, glancing toward Sam and Dean.

“No. Just you,” Dean replied, already stepping forward, “We better go check it out.”

“Maybe it's Santa,” Jude whispered, his blue eyes growing with excitement.

“I don't think so, son,” Cas denied, stepping closer to his child.

Dean and Sam left their angels with the toddlers and Bobby decided to follow along just in case they needed back up. His three dogs – who were now on guard with their ears up and jaws fixed – stayed loosely around his ankles, acting like his own private security detail. The old man tried to ignore the dull ache in his back as he hiked up the stairs after the Winchesters, who led the way to a door. They all huddled around it before Sam cracked it open to steal a peek outside. It only took him a single glance to decide to pull the door the rest of the way open – revealing a pair of familiar brown eyes and the distinct scent of cinnamon.

“Hello boys,” Crowley purred.

Bobby almost couldn't believe it. The king of hell himself was standing on Dean and Sam's doorstep, wearing his usual black suit and red tie, along with a black knee-length coat. Snow was collecting on his shoulders and in his dark hair, but the demon seemed indifferent to the cold. His deep dark eyes were focused on Bobby instead; piercing straight through him, as if he was staring at a pile of gold.

“Hello love,” he hummed in his delicious accent, letting a smirk tease the edge of his thin lips, “You're a difficult man to find these days. I've been trying to track you down since nine o'clock this morning.”

Bobby wanted to give the demon some kind of sassy retort, but his mouth suddenly felt dry. He only smacked his lips together and let himself take in the sight of his favorite drinking buddy. Had Crowley really tried tracking him down all day? Why was he wanting to find Bobby? And how did he end up at the bunker? Bobby couldn't even find the place without Dean's help. Although these questions were pressing at the front of Bobby's mind, he didn't ask any of them. He was too happy to be in Crowley's presence again to worry about stupid questions.

“Uh... Hey?” Sam offered with a wave, obviously trying to break the long stare that Crowley and Bobby had gotten themselves trapped in.

Bobby coughed and finally blinked away, freeing himself from the demon's powerful gaze.

“What do you want?” Dean almost demanded, narrowing his eyes at Crowley and crossing his arms defiantly.

“Oh, I want a great number of things, Squirrel,” Crowley purred, his brown eyes still flickering toward Bobby, “but right now, all I want is that stoic man in the worn hat.”

Dean and Sam both looked toward Bobby, who could feel his own face flaring up with heat. He hated being the center of attention, especially when he was put there by flirty comments. Hoping to lighten his discomfort, Bobby shifted around the Winchesters and stepped out the door.

“You boys better give us a minute,” Bobby sighed, “Tell the kids I'll be right there.”

Although they both seemed a little hesitant to leave Bobby alone with the demon, Sam and Dean both nodded and stepped back with the dogs, letting go of the door. The heavy 'thump' of it closing behind them gave Bobby chills. He was finally alone with Crowley for the first time in months. It was just the two of them now, standing outside the bunker in the middle of a snowfall with nothing to look at but each other.

There were a million things Bobby wanted to say – and even more things he wanted to do – to Crowley, but for a moment, he just stood there and blinked like a goon. The demon made the first move. He reached up with a pale hand to brush away some of the snow that had collected on Bobby's shoulders, even though his own were covered in the stuff.

“You look as handsome as ever, Robert,” he breathed, “Life doesn't seem to effect your dashing appearance in the least. If I could bottle your youthful glow, I would sell it to millions of desperate souls...”

“Where have you been?” Bobby blurted.

The question just sort of slipped out. He didn't mean to be so blunt about it, but the answer was killing him. He needed to know why the guy never came to see him after his visit to hell. Crowley took a long breath and shook his head a bit, as if thinking about it made him exasperated.

“I've been dying to see you for weeks, love. Believe me, I have,” he began, his dark eyes full of sincerity, “But... my mother – ”

Fergus!

Bobby flinched at the unexpected Scottish voice that echoed down the concrete stairs to their left. A large bundle of red curly hair tossed around in the snow as Rowena – who was dressed warmly in a green velvet dress and fluffy white coat – rushed down the steps as quickly as her tiny feet could carry her. Crowley's hand dropped from Bobby's shoulder and he let out an audible groan, glaring toward the sky with fire in his eyes.

“You didn't tell me you finally found him! It's a yuletide miracle!” the lady rejoiced, smiling brightly.

Mother,” Crowley growled without looking at her, “I told you to wait in the car!”

“It's so nice to see you again, lad. You look as strapping as ever,” Rowena said, ignoring Crowley and extending her hand to Bobby.

Bobby gave Crowley a small glance before carefully taking the lady's tiny hand. Her fingers were bony and cold, but Bobby gave it a gentle shake.

“It's, uh, nice to see again you too, ma'am,” he mumbled, giving her a small smile.

Rowena blushed and shivered in the snow, making her red curls dance over her fluffy coat.

“Oh, I just love hearing you call me that!” she giggled, scrunching her nose, “And ya have such warm hands! Those will keep my wee Fergus plenty warm in bed – ”

Mother!” Crowley hissed, yanking Bobby's hand away from hers, “Stop forcing him to endure your insufferable yapping!”

“Oh, keep yer trousers on, boy. I only came to give him a gift,” she replied.

Rowena started digging around in her big coat pockets while Crowley exhaled furiously.

“What could you possibly have to give to him?!” the demon demanded.

Bobby couldn't help but smile at the dysfunctional exchanges between Crowley and his mother. It was like watching a real life sitcom. The Scottish lady finally took a small card out of her pocket and held it out to Bobby with a huge grin.

“Here ya go, laddie. I've held onto it for centuries, but I think you'll appreciate it more than I,” she winked.

“Oh, bollocks, is that what I think it is?” Crowley murdered, his face going pale.

Feeling curious, Bobby quickly reached up and took the centuries-old card. The front was blank, but the inside held a small hand-drawn picture of a small boy. He looked to be about eight years old, with a chubby face and dark eyes. He was wearing fabric overalls and a mild scowl. And the subtle look on his tiny face made Bobby wonder...

“Is this... you?” he asked, raising his head to give Crowley a look of surprise.

“Yes!” Rowena nodded, giving another high-pitched giggle, “That's my Fergus when he was just a wee thing. The plumpest boy in the whole village. Ate every apple in sight. The midwives mistook him for a swine when he was born -”

Dammit, woman!” Crowley boomed, his voice echoing up the stairs as he turned to glare at the tiny red-head next to him, “If you don't get back in the car right now, I'm going to put you under it!

Rowena huffed a breath and gave her son a snide look. She shook her head before leaning forward to whisper to Bobby.

“Got a bit of a temper, he does. Hope you're prepared to handle it,” she mentioned with a wink, “Merry Christmas to ya, Robert Singer! Always a pleasure.”

“Merry Christmas to you too, ma'am,” he replied politely, tilting his hat.

Rowena giggled and blushed again before turning to prance back up the steps, making her velvet dress swish around. Bobby and Crowley stayed quiet and still until she was all the way out of sight. Once they were alone again, the demon took a large breath and hung his head in front of the old man.

“Forgive me, Robert,” he mumbled, sounding exhausted, “Ever since my mother decided to plop herself back into my life, I... I haven't had the courage to come near you. She's more than a handful and I completely understand if... if her presence has made you change your mind about me.”

“Change my mind?” Bobby repeated, “What are you talkin' about?”

Crowley raised his head again to give the man a flat look.

“It isn't fair for me to ask you to put up with my mother just for the sake of my company,” he explained, his rich accent full of heartache.

Bobby glanced down at the drawing in his hand, seeing Crowley's young face again. How could he ever think that his mother would make Bobby turn away from him?

“To be honest... I would do anything to share your company,” Bobby began, glancing back up to meet the demon's dark eyes, “Besides, your momma's not that bad. She's just a little... extreme. And everybody comes with their own baggage anyway. I mean, you put up with my boys, don't you?”

A softer look came over Crowley's face in the snow.

“Yes... I supposed I do,” he answered, “But the Winchesters are a daydream compared to my mother. The scales are favorably tipped toward you, I'm afraid.”

Bobby gave a hardy chuckle, edging closer to the demon in front of him.

“Well, to be fair, you've got royalty. I ain't exactly a king,” he reminded.

“I beg to differ,” Crowley responded in a whisper, his breath fogging from his lips.

Bobby gulped down a sudden flicker of emotion as his eyes danced all around the demon's face. Crowley was wearing that look he always wore when he was about to lean forward and give Bobby a kiss. His mahogany eyes were filling with heat and he was moistening his lips, giving them a generous lick with the tip of his wet tongue. Bobby couldn't tear his eyes away from it. He just stood there in the snow and felt his own heart hammer against his ribcage.

“I... I dunno if you're up for getting gifts,” Bobby mumbled, eying Crowley's lips, “but I've been meaning to give you something for awhile now.”

“Is that so?” Crowley purred, tilting his head back, “Tell me, old friend, what kind of gift is - ?”

Bobby cut off the guy's question with a sudden kiss, plunging his mouth against Crowley's and reaching up to hold the back of his head. Hot air fogged between their noses as their tongues wrestled together. Bobby could taste a tiny hint of alcohol on Crowley's lips and it only made the man want to dive in deeper; to kiss him longer, and hold him tighter. He wasn't sure how long it lasted – was it a few seconds? A few years? – before had to pull away to breathe. He gasped for breath but stayed close, holding the warm demon against him in the cold weather.

“The kind that keeps on givin',” Bobby replied simply.

Crowley leaned into Bobby's embrace, letting the old man hold most of his weight, as he stared up at him with a dopy look.

“You have no bloody idea how much I needed that,” he hummed.

Bobby smiled, glad that he was able to make Crowley feel better. The demon slowly reached up to straighten the old man's hat, which had been shifted sideways by their vigorous kiss. It was so nice to have this again; to be right where he wanted to be, inside Crowley's arms. It didn't matter whether the guy had a crazy mother, or a deranged father, or satanic distant cousins. Bobby loved him no matter who he was related to. Like Dean said earlier, Crowley's business was his business. If they were going to be together for the long haul – which Bobby was avidly hoping for – then Rowena was as good as his mother-in-law, and he didn't mind one bit.

“You know, it looks like you've got a lil' bit of red running through your hair,” Bobby mentioned, giving the demon a playful wink.

Crowley rolled his eyes but grinned, shaking his head and snuggling deeper into Bobby's arms.

“You're very lucky that I'm so fond of you, Singer. A comment like that would have meant a one way trip to the pit for anyone else,” Crowley mused.

“I know,” Bobby nodded with a chuckle, “Merry Christmas, old friend.”

Crowley smirked when Bobby called him by their pet name, seeming pleased to have heard it.

“And to you as well, love,” he replied.

The two of them searched each others' wide eyes for another minute before Bobby lowered his head to rejoin their lips. Now that he finally had his demon back, he was going to make the most of it... And never let him go again.