It's a Sunday and I'm looking forward to sleeping in and relaxing on my only day off this week. Not that I don't technically have two days off, Bobby doesn't overwork me on purpose, but I always take overtime out of habit more than need nowadays. Originally, it was to put Sammy through school, but now that he's a big hot shot lawyer, moved out, got married and acquired kids of his own, you think I'd relax a bit. Not to mention if I was ever in a bind, Sammy's told me I'm welcome to whatever he has, money or otherwise.
He also knows I'd sell my left kidney before I'd ask him for financial help. Taking care of him's habit too. We lost Mom when I was four and Sammy was six months old, Dad had to work all the time just to make ends meet; I helped by looking after Sammy, then later by working in Uncle Bobby's shop. He helped me get my mechanic's license and I've been working for him ever since. Our Father died of a heart attack just before Sam's seventeenth birthday, a year and a half before his high school graduation, but there was no way I wasn't going to see him through to his dream, so I just worked and worked and fucking worked some more. Guess I never stopped.
So relax is what I'll do today after what's his name sleeping beside me leaves. I nudge him. "Hey. Hit the road pal."
'Pal' is a good looking Spanish dude I picked up from the bar last night after work.
"The name's Rick," he reminds me. Rick doesn't even have an accent, next time I'm getting someone a little more authentic.
"Well it was a good time, not a long time, so hop to it." Yeah I'm an ass; sue me.
I roll over and snuggle into my pillow all set to go back to sleep and stretch the fuck out. He'd had too many to drink, I don't wanna date the guy, but I felt like I should make sure he left my place in a decent state, so I let him sleep it off. But now, I trust he'll leave, except maybe I should at least walk him to the door so he doesn't steal anything? I'm too fucking cozy though. "Don't steal my shit," I warn him already drifting back off.
Meh. I deserved that.
He's quick. I hear the sounds of him putting his clothes on then of him walking down the stairs, soon as the door opens I close my eyes. Ah. Peace. I wonder what I'll do today? I should mow the lawn, the gutters probably need seen to, but I'll leave that for another day. I know, I'll drink beer, mow the law and see if Sam and Gabe are game for a barbeque later. Perfect.
I know something's wrong when I don't hear the door shut. I've got kinda a sixth sense for that kinda thing. I was protective of my little brother and always looking over the house at night, making sure everything was locked up and slept like a guard dog worried someone would break in.
"Uh, Dean?" 'Rick' says. "There's a package for you."
A package? It's Sunday the mail's not even running. Oh I get it, 'package,' maybe that's his way of getting invited back up for more sex, but I'm so tired right now, I don't think I could get my dick to work. "Sorry pal, another time."
"You really are an asshole, Dean," he yells up the stairs. "But seriously, there's something…someone down here for you, should I let him in?"
Him? Huh? What the actual fuck?
"Just get the fuck out, and uh, tell whoever it is I'll be down is a fucking second!" Jesus Christ. Fine. Guess I am getting out of bed. I'll go see what this is about, tell it to fuck off and climb back into bed. Maybe by then my dick will be awake and I can jerk to some busty beauties, before I go back to sleep.
I put on a pair of boxer briefs, whoever's interrupting my beauty sleep can deal with me mostly naked. I storm downstairs, Rick's gone, which is lucky for him because he left my fucking door open and there's no one there. Oh. I get it. This was to get me back for being a dick. Hardy har. Joke's on me. Next time I see that guy…
Fuck. I walk over to close the door and my blood freezes. There's a kid there. He's just a little guy wearing clothes that are three sizes too big for him. He's got neat, dark hair and the bluest fucking eyes I've ever seen; they're also the saddest eyes I've ever seen—just what the hell has this kid been through? He's pale and thin and sucking on one of those pacifier things one of my nephews still has. It looks like he's been crying and he's shivering. He's got a little hoodie on, but who knows how long he's been out here just sitting quietly.
He's looking at me with a hopefully sad expression and he takes a big sniffle, but his nose is still running. Is he sick? Or is that from crying? There's a diaper pinned to the front of his hoodie with an envelope on top, on the envelope it says: Dean Winchester. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. None of this looks good for me.
He takes his soother out. "D-does, does you have a Kleenex?" his trembling little voice asks then pops his soother back in, snot dripping down to his mouth, little hiccups making his chest jump.
I've only just set eyes on him, but I can read people good and there's something I know about him off the bat: He's tough. This kid is made of stuff stronger than stone. He's utterly terrified right now, but he's worked up the courage to ask me, a complete stranger, for something.
"Sure, kid. Uh, why don't you come in?"
"O-okay," he says with a hitched breath like he might be ready to cry again. He looks a little relieved, actually, to be let in. Poor fucking thing. Leaving him outside like a dog on a porch.
"My sh-shoes off?" he says from behind his soother (at least I'm pretty sure that's what he's said), then taking a big sniffle. I did just clean the floors Friday after work.
"Yeah, you take those off, I'll get you a Kleenex." I don't know how old the kid is, or what he's capable of, but he doesn't ask for help, he just sits his little self down and gets to work. God. He's so tiny. I think football's out for him.
I grab him a Kleenex from the closest washroom and when I get back I can see he's struggling, he hasn't got either shoe off and the note-diaper combo is getting in his way. "You want help?"
He looks his sad little face up at me and nods. First I remove the envelope, which is for me anyway, and diaper then I take his shoes off carefully, worried I'm going to break him. I'm not the best with ones this little, but I do look after my nephews occasionally, as an absolute last resort for Sam and Gabe, something I do not take offence to. They'd be better off leaving the twins with a plant than with me.
He sniffles again and that's my cue to wipe. After the shoe debacle, I figure I'd better help him with that too. "Here," I say when he's wiped clean. "Keep this, you might need it."
He takes the Kleenex and nods sadly; he's still shivering. It's warm in the house, but if he was out there all night, he's going to have trouble warming up. In classic Dean style, I don't think it over, I just do. I grab the kid up and hold him against my naked chest, which he curls into on instinct, so grateful for a little kindness. I start walking through the house and back up to my bedroom to get him a blanket.
As I'm walking, he looks up at me with those sad, blue eyes and there's something else there. If I didn't know better, I'd say the kid was a million years old. There's so much soul in them; I picture him being wise beyond his years. But there's something else there too and I've seen it from Sammy growing up enough to recognize what it is: Hero worship. Whether I deserved it or not Sam's always looked up to me, tagging along after me, wanting to be like me; looking at me like this kid is now. "It's true," he decides out loud, taking the soother out of his mouth again.
"What is?" I'm fucking intrigued. This kid has something about him; reminds me a little of Sammy.
"You're real an' my very own."
Wait. What? "Your very own what kid?"
"My very own, Daddy."
Okay, whoa. Maybe I should read that fucking letter. I can't break the damn kid's heart though. It will crush him; it's going to crush him. I invited him in to warm him up and get him a Kleenex…perhaps a bite to eat, but I gotta find this kid's parents, a grandmother, something—anything's better than me.
Before I break the news, I decide to read the letter and before I read the letter I need to get him warm. I put him on my bed, on the side I slept on and not that slime ball Rick and wrap him in my duvet. "You get warm, understood? You don't look so good."
He nods frantically, wanting to please me his 'very own Daddy.' Fuck.
I open the envelope. There's a bunch of stuff inside, but I skip everything and start with what looks like a letter. It's in the same crude handwriting as my name on the front. Jesus. Even I can write better than this; whoever wrote it should stick solely to typing. It reads:
Dean Winchester? Hope I got the right house. I'm pretty sure this kid is yours. Least that's what Lisa said. She committed suicide three months ago; she had severe depression. Anyhow, her mom can't look after the kid, she's not doing well either and doesn't have the money. I don't know how much you know about Lisa, but she's got no siblings, and her dad died when she was little. There's just me, Nick, and I can't do it. I tried for three months, but I suck. Figured he was better off with his real dad anyway. I left you with a diaper, he'll need to be changed soon, but not much else. He hasn't been doing real good since his mom died. Probably better he doesn't have reminders.
Then in more scribbled writing under that, probably added after he wrote his note:
I knocked a bunch of times with no answer. You should get a doorbell.
And you shouldn't leave fucking kids on a porch in the middle of the fucking night! I crumple the letter up in a ball and huck it across the room, the kid, possibly my kid, jumps.
"Y-you is mad?" he says.
"Yeah, I'm mad."
Childishly, my brain automatically comes up with the response, because it's fun. See? I'm not fit to be a Father. I've got the sense of humor of a teenager. I take a calming breath. The letter says that this 'Nick' is not even sure I'm the kid's father; it's probably just some mistake and it will all get sorted.
"Because life's full of shit people, that's why."
He simply nods like I've just imparted wisdom unto him, or something. I need to come clean. "I don't know if I'm your daddy, kid."
He scowls at me and I'm surprised, he seemed so agreeable a moment ago. "Are," he insists.
I sigh, there's no convincing him otherwise just now. "You getting warm like I told you?"
"Yes, Daddy," he says stubbornly. Well, stubborn is a Winchester trait for sure, so that's something. I realize I haven't even asked the kid his name, nor did 'Nick' mention it.
"What's your name, bud?"
"M-michael," he says with a big sniffle. "Michael Inchester."
Fuck, Inchester? "Do you mean Winchester?"
"S'what I said. Michael Inchester."
I'd be laughing at how cute he is if I wasn't freaking the fuck out. I peek inside the manila envelope and rifle through what's in there, thank god I come up with a birth certificate. The hair on my arms stands on end. The kid's full name is, Michael Dean Winchester. His mom used my name when she named him. If I was that important to this woman, that she'd put my name into her son's, why didn’t she ever tell me I had a son? Whoa, getting ahead of yourself there Winchester. Maybe it was just one of those trophy fucks gone wrong. I was probably this Lisa's dream fuck, but since I make it pretty clear I'm only in for the night, she walked away from our night together idolizing me. When she got knocked up and gave birth to this rug rat, I was still on her mind, so insanely she named him after me. Yeah, that's what happened. Had to of. I wish I could fucking remember this Lisa; I wish I could remember anyone I slept with for that matter. It says he was born May second, two thousand twelve. He just turned three and he's got the same birthday as my brother. That last part is icing to this creepy fucking cake.
He sniffles again and I decide the kid, Michael, is fucking sick. I reach out to feel his head. "You need to sleep. Lay down and close your eyes."
"Bu-but, don' leave. Please Daddy."
"Okay, but you have to promise to sleep," I lie. As soon as this kid's out, I'm going downstairs to call Sam. He'll know what to fucking do; he's like the Batman of lawyers.
"Will," he says stuffing his pacifier in and closing his eyes right away. I rub his back for him like I used to do to Sam when he wasn't well. This little guy's breaking my heart with his sad story and his sniffling.
As soon as I determine he's out, I grab a shirt and my cell phone, leave the room and call Sam. "Sammy? You've got to get over here, quick."
"Dean? Everything okay?"
"No it's fucking not. Get over here, now."
"All right, all right. But I've got Matty—Gabe's at the grocery store with Logan."
Crap, I think Matty's the rambunctious one. "Yeah, just get your ass over here."
"Shh, bud, there's someone asleep upstairs, but it's good to see you," I say plucking him up and squeezing him. I let him back down and he runs to the T.V. He knows Uncle Dean's house enough to know it's the place you come to watch cartoons. "Heya Sammy."
Sam raises his eyebrows. "Someone's upstairs?"
"Yeah, that's what you're here to see."
"Jeez Dean, you kill someone?"
"I already said someone was sleeping upstairs, not dead."
"You said it to Matt. It's what we tell them the bugs are doing if we see them dead in the house. Sleeping."
Hmm. Noted. I might need that.
"The person in my bed is alive."
"In that case, I don't need to see your latest sexual escapade Dean. I hope you demanded I come over here for something better than that."
"Oh, it's better," I promise. If nothing else, it's going to be worth it to see the look on his face.
"All right. Let's see it. Matt," he calls. "Uncle Dean and I will be upstairs for just a second."
When we get up the stairs, I open the door just a crack so Sam can peek in. His eyes go wider than Grant's tomb. "Dean! Why is there a child in your bed?"
Michael's eyes pop open, his little mouth pouts and he starts to cry. "Way to go dick," I grouch at him. I open the door all the way and go inside, he reaches for me; I pick him up. Already used to it, he curls into my torso, latching on like a little koala bear.
"Sorry, bud. Sammy's a dick," I explain. Michael glares at my brother, sucking on his pacifier, no longer crying, but the last tears are still sliding down his face. I laugh because it's kinda fun that he's scowling at Sam like he is, like he's on my side no matter what.
"I'm sorry little fellow, but you're not his usual meal—okay big brother, explain."
I tell him about finding Michael outside and the letter; I let him read it and look over his birth certificate. "And I'm pretty sure he's sick, also, he might need a diaper change. I thought you could do that part."
"Dean. What if he is your son? You can't call me every time he needs changed."
"Please little brother? I put you through law school."
"Are you ever going to stop using that against me?"
"Is it ever going to stop working?"
"No. Fine, give him here."
But Michael does not want Sam. When Sam tries to pull him from me he screams. I didn't think something so small could have lungs like that. Sam backs off right away. "That's funny. He didn't do that with me," I say baffled. Michael's crying now, into my torso.
"D-do-on't lee-ave me, Daddy."
Sam looks at me with his scolding face. "Um, yeah. He does that—I tried to get him to stop, but he won't. He's sort of attached to me already, I guess."
"Y'think? It's kinda cute actually. Y'know Dean, he's the spitting image of me as a kid."
"So? Kids are supposed to look like their parents. Maybe he's your kid then—'Lisa' got the wrong Winchester." And I know, I thought so too, but I don't feeling like admitting to that just now.
"Not my Daddy," Michael insists grabbing to me tighter.
"Holy crap, he is attached to you and that's not true. Often kids can look like an Aunt or Uncle."
Since when did he become the fucking expert? "I thought you went to law school, not, I dunno, science class."
"Wow, you must be frazzled if you can't even come up with a proper comeback."
"Just tell me what to do Sam."
"First we should get a paternity test, to see if he's even yours, but let me double check with Ellen at work, she deals more in family law than I do, she can tell us how to do this right and…do you really want to know all the details? Or do you just want me to do everything and involve you when absolutely necessary?"
My brother knows my 'I've checked out' look. "I did put you through law school…"
"Which I am very grateful for. So change him and we should go."
"Go?" I say. Michael takes another big sniffle, Sam hands me a Kleenex, I get Michael to blow.
"Thank you, Daddy," he says.
"Man that's freaking weird," Sam says. "You're going to need more diapers and other stuff. When's the last time he ate?"
"What? Why do I need stuff?"
Sam laughs at me. "It's going to take some time for us to figure this out, where did you think he was going to stay? Outside?"
"He can't stay here," I whisper covering his ears.
"I'd offer our place, but he won't even let me touch him Dean."
"Don't you remember the time I looked after Matt and Logan's fish while you all went away?"
"What? I never asked you to take care of the fish."
"Exactly. Because it would have been dead when you got home!"
"Don't be silly, Dean. Have you forgotten, you pretty much raised me? Dad was never around and when he was, he was too tired to do anything with me—you were like, my stand-in Dad and look at me, I'm a lawyer."
"Yeah, but I had Dad to fall back on if I fucked up. This is all on me."
He shakes his head and starts walking out of the bedroom ignoring my internal crisis. "C'mon. He can use Logan's car seat."
Shit. Now I've gotta go buy kid stuff and, "wait! Sammy, wait. You gotta help me, I know shit about diaper changing."
Sam comes back, he's laughing his ass off. "Can I film this?"
"I thought you wanted to be around for your children's graduation from university?"
"Okay, okay. It's easy, just lie him down on the bed. Do you have wipes?"
"I'll take that as a no. But you said there was a diaper right?"
"Yeah, here," I say pulling it off the nightstand.
"Lay him down and pull his pants off then slip the diaper under the old diaper, I'll grab a cloth with warm water."
Okay, sounds simple enough. Michael lets me lay him down, he trusts me way too fucking much and I remove the large baggy pants. I wonder why he doesn't have clothes his size? I don't know why, but I feel like punching someone over it. By the time Sam's back, I've got my task complete and am pretty proud of myself—that seemed painless.
"Now undo the old diaper."
I do and expect the worst, but it doesn't look bad. "It's just wet, you're lucky. Wipe him off good with this," Sam says and hands me the cloth.
Sam gives me further instruction, as I wipe, about how to clean his willy off properly and around the back. "Pee gets everywhere, you don't want it collecting in places."
"Ew. His birth certificate says he's three, shouldn’t he be out of diapers by now?"
"Every kid's different. The twins were about his age when we potty trained them."
"Joy. What next?"
When he's freshly diapered, I feel kind of accomplished. "Aha! Piece of cake."
Sam rolls his eyes. "Just put his pants back on Super Dad."
"Those things are like a million sizes too big Sam."
"We'll get him some clothes at the store, just roll them up or something for now."
I don’t like it, but he's right, I don't want to take him to the store in just a diaper.
I put him down and he doesn't complain, but he sticks by my side all the way down the stairs. "T.V. off Matthew. We're going out again," Sam says.
"Kay, Papa," he says, but he doesn't actually turn the T.V. off, Sam has to do it. Matt runs over to Michael and me. "Who're you?" Matt asks Michael.
Sam almost laughs, but he bites his hand just in time. "I'm Matt and that's my dad," Matt explains, pointing at Sam.
"I got one too," he says pointing at me. "Jus' got him today."
Sam and I both fucking wince at the same time as both our hearts fucking break. This kid's killing me. I ruffle his hair. "C'mon, let's get your shoes on."
"I can do it, Daddy," he says running to his shoes.
"Um, okay." He couldn't get them off though, isn't putting them on a little harder? I don't say it though. I do see him watching Matthew put his shoes on to the best of his ability and Sam watching the pair, carefully. Michael clearly cannot put his shoes on by himself and it's becoming painful to watch.
"Matthew, sweetie, you need my help?" Sam asks.
"Please, Papa," he says.
Seeing this, Michael looks up at me. "Help me too, Daddy?"
I bite my lip and nod. "Sure, sport."
And it's stupid I know, but after peeking over and watching Sam do it so flawlessly, I'm worried the kid's going to find me inadequate. I try to mimic Sam's technique by pulling out the tongue and twisting it gently onto Michael's little, socked foot. "You taught me how to put on shoes Dean," Sam points out, probably sensing my nervousness; he knows me too well.
"Yep. Sure did. And look at me, now I'm a lawyer."
"Are you gonna keep saying that?" I push at his leg. He smirks instead of answering, so I take that as a yes.
Michael's happy as a clam having his 'Daddy' help him put shoes on then he reaches up for me and curls into me again. "I'm no expert Sam, but he seems tired."
"Yeah," he says, brushing Michael's dark hair off his forehead, which he lets Sam do and doesn't freak out about. I guess so long as Sam's not trying to take him from me, he's okay with touching. "We'll be quick. He probably needs food too. I've got a few snacks in the car."