Prompt: #18 Excuses
Type of Story: General
Author's Website: Kezzie5's LJ
Author's Note: This is set pre-series when the boys are young children. Sam is 3 and Dean is 7. Thank you to Sarah(Nocturnal08) for being a fantastic supporter and beta on this. These Winchesters wouldn't be nearly as adorable without her input! Disclaimer - I own none of these characters. They are the property of Eric Kripke and the CW. Any characters in this story are used simply for entertainment purposes, and I am not making any money from these stories.
The allure of seeing Jim Murphy, especially Jim Murphy with books, was the strongest stimulant known to Samkind the toddler was wide awake at ten-fifteen when John finally pulled the Impala to a halt in the gravel driveway.
John peeled himself off the front seat to greet his friend. New information on a werewolf had come to light the last few days and with Bobby already in the area dealing with the problem, it seemed the perfect time to crash at Jim's and catch up on some research, maybe even get some sleep some time.
"Jim," John said, as he reached out his hand and gave the Pastor a firm shake before patting Bobby on the back with a weary smile "Sorry it took so long. Had to stop off along the way and get the boys fed and changed."
"Not a problem," Jim said, smiling. "Let me get the bags and you can take them on in. Their bed is made up" Getting John and his boys to stay more than one evening was a rare treat and the Pastor was determined to do his best to make the stay easy on his friend. John attracted enough trouble on his own, and his two active sons, including this little night owl, only added to the chaos.
"Uncle Jim, I don' need a diaper." Sam announced. "I'm BIG now,"
"You sure are," Jim said appreciatively, smiling at the floppy haired boy bouncing in his carseat and ducking his head to collect the duffels from the back.
Weariness struck John as he lifted Dean, who's head had lolled around 9 after John hustled him and his brother into pajamas. Bobby fumbled with the carseat restraints to release his excited baby. John climbed the stairs, settling Dean down on one side of the bed that the boys shared every time they passed through. His eldest murmured half-hearted protests at being tucked in but a soothing hand running through his hair soon quieted him.
"Shh buddy, it's late and we've had a long day," John spoke in a gentle tone, one he found himself rarely indulging in anymore. "I've got Sammy and I'll be downstairs if you need me, just like always. Waffles for breakfast" he added as an afterthought and chuckled quietly at the toothy smile that lit up his sleepy boys' face, barely visible from under the quilt.
It wasn't often he could treat his boys to a home-cooked meal or some small luxury, but when he did, his heart swelled at the excitement that crossed their faces. Dean of course, was too grown up to squeal like his brother, but even at the mature age of eight, his cool big brother shades would slide to reveal the little boy still inside.
John smiled as Dean's breathing next to him evened out, and he slipped off the bed, doing a quick scan of the room out of instinct. The salt lines were already laid and he had no doubt blessings had been said, but he repeated his nightly ritual himself before heading downstairs. After all, they were his boys.
Three heavy days of hunting and driving were weighing down on him, but Sam wasn't showing any pity on his old man. Dressed in his spiderman PJs, he clambered to his feet on the sofa and started bouncing up and down.
"Sam," John rebuked, still regretting the purchase of the pajamas. Ever since he'd bought them and the comic, his days had been filled with heart stopping moments catching his baby trying to recreate "spidaman" stunts, with Dean shouting encouragement from the top of kitchen counters or wherever he'd happened to scale.
Sam gave him a puckish grin and his little rascal let out one final "wheeee" before bouncing onto his bottom, staring up at his father with wide-eyed innocence.
"S'not a twamp'lean" he stated seriously, daring John to call him on his cheekiness. Oh yes, Sam knew fine what the rules were, but the brand new "tree" year old had been studying up how to get the most out of his charming personality. No doubt he'd picked it up from one of his role-models, the adopted family they'd collected over the years. Goodness knows he'd learnt a bunch of new words at Uncle Bobby's the last time they'd been there.
"No, it's not" John agreed, trying to be stern, hiding the amusement in his voice as Jim entered bearing gifts. John's jaw tightened some as Sam scooted eagerly to the edge of the cushion. He often felt guilty about traveling so much, dragging the boys along with him. Sometimes he was tempted to compensate for their nomadic lifestyle with toys and other trinkets but he just didn't have the money or the room in the Impala to spare. Jim or Bobby always had a small treat for the boys when they turned up. A three dollar ball or other knickknack was often enough to keep them both amused for hours and keep them away from the more dangerous playthings they might pick up in the yard. Anything for Dean that involved sport for the sake of fun and not training was a rarity.
This was Jim's biggest hoard yet, though he was weighted down with two plastic bags in each of his big hands.
"Jeez, how much did you spend?" John asked accepting the beer Bobby graciously offered him and quickly reaching over to catch Sam by the arm before he toppled over the edge and disappeared into the bag in his excitement.
"Erm, not much," Jim said self-consciously. "One of my congregation works in a bookstore. Got me a discount. Even threw in a few worksheets for Dean so he doesn't miss out between schools."
John raised an eyebrow at him, only catching the first half of the story due to Sam's excited squeal. "Daddy, there's BOOKS!"
"Oh yeah?" John said, glancing up at the pastor again. "She sounds like a great friend."
Jim rolled at the insinuation behind the "she," but confirmed their suspicions by studiously avoiding eye contact.
"That's a hell of a deal," Bobby teased with a smile. Jim blushed redder.
Sammy, by now, had clambered down onto the floor in front of the bags. His eyes flashed like twin beacons of happiness. All the jealousy John felt at the Pastor's ability to provide treats he couldn't was replaced with gratitude. His boys needed this, needed someone to make a fuss of them, to buy them presents, make them feel special and remark on how'd they'd grown. Item by item Sam emptied the bags, tracing a small pudgy finger over each picture.
"I like dis one," he said, holding up a Curious George.
He was rapt, fascinated the same way he'd been ever since he could hold a book in his own chubby little hands. He'd snuggle up with his Daddy, or anyone who would take the time, really, and listen to the stories. John had been manipulating Dean into reading them recently. It encouraged his reluctant reader to practice and provided him with an extra half hour to focus on research, though if he was honest with himself he usually listened in to the boys' excited chatter and ended up joining them. Dean had his own tactics for that. Enough, "Dad what's this word?"s and John would have to give up his research to spend the time with them.
More than just books fell out of the bag: drawing pads and crayons, worksheets and a travel sized game of Junior Scrabble. Sam's eyes went wide.
"C'n I have one?" Sam asked, now impersonating Tigger with his bouncy flouncy hopping. He had far too much energy for a boy his age at this time of night. It's past MY bedtime, John was thinking, glancing at his watch.
"They're for you and Dean, Sammy. Who else would they be for?" Jim replied, smiling fondly.
"All of dem?" Sammy asked, eyes wide as saucers. "Am I 'lowed to keep them?" he asked, swiveling towards his father, eyes streaked with the apprehension that John might say no. He found himself unable to look the little boy straight in the eye.
"We'll take as many as we can, then switch next time we drive through," he compromised, but it wasn't enough. A scowl immediately took over the baby's face as a little foot kicked out in frustration.
"No Daddy! Mine! Uncle Jim SAID!"
John took a swig of his beer before settling his eyes on Sammy. "Yes, but daddy has his business things in the car so we'll leave some with Uncle Jim. You can play with the rest when we come to visit. That way you won't get bored of them as quickly."
"NO fair!" Sam protested, not convinced
"Life isn't fair kiddo." And even Jim was looking at him like he was a monster. Thanks for the moral support, he thought with annoyance.
"But I's wanna draw!" Sammy wailed.
"Then take the crayons and draw pictures for Jim on the road. I'm sure he'll love it," John said unsympathetically, casting a look at his friend. He was the one that got him into this mess so the very least he could do was sit through Sam's lengthy explanations of what the cosmic significance of each scribble.
"But I want bed stowies!"
"Then take some books instead," John said shortly, heaving himself to his feet and going into the kitchen. He opened the cupboards, taking stock of what was there and what his boys would soon eat up. For everything that his friends did for him, he still didn't like the charity, preferring to earn his money and pay them back in some small way. Even if it was through hustling.
The patter of guilty little feet behind him indicated his toddler had arrived. John placed his beer on the countertop before kneeling down to Sammy's level. He tenderly pushed the bangs off the small forehead, a thumb gently caressing the chubby cheek as he lowered his head.
"I sowwie daddy. I was being a BRAT" he said, plaintively looking up through those eyelashes of his.
"It's okay buddy," John said smiling. "You're just excitable tonight. How's about we get you settled, then sort through them tomorrow? See if we can make room for books AND crayons." If we empty the current box of army men with broken legs and tattered books, he added to himself.
"Tank you, Daddy!" Sam screeched as a sleepy-eyed Dean poked his head around the corner. The noise of his squeaky sibling had woken Dean and sparked enough interest to come down and investigate. He was just in time to see Sam launch himself at John, knocking the hunter from his precarious squat. John fell back heavily on to his ass.
Sammy stuck his fingers in his mouth, looking nervous, but John's smile told him it was okay. John swung his legs around, leaning against the counter as Sammy clambered onto his outstretched legs, bouncing up and down on John's abdomen, not seeming to notice the "Ouf!" sound he made every time Sam connected with his stomach.
"Ow! Ow! Look, Deanie! I'm jumping on Daddy!" he giggled, his little hands placed firmly on John's chest to allow himself to push off.
Dean came closer, hair ruffled from sleep. He slowly took in the situation, obviously taken back by John's playful manner. When his dad reached out and caught his arm, pulling him to his side, Dean stumbled. Defensive instincts drilled into him in training kicked in automatically. Regaining his balance quickly, Dean straightened up with his shoulders back, hands ready. But he looked sheepish as he became aware of his surroundings again. Knowing he wasn't in any danger, Dean ducked his head, blushing at what a baby he was. Big boys didn't scare so easy. He'd acted like a scaredy cat, getting all tense over some rough and tumble with his baby brother. Before he could dwell on it any longer however, John's hand on his lower back gently guided him closer. The hand slid up squeezing the back of Dean's neck softly, a silent order from father to son to relax. A nod and confident smile went a long way as the boys' tension visibly left his shoulders and he allowed himself to be caught up in the game.
There we go, welcome back son. John thought, groaning in mock pain at being used as Sam's personal trampoline. He ran a gentle finger under the little boy's neck, producing a fresh batch of laughter from Sammy. But his eyes kept drifting to his small soldier. Dean smiled, going for Sam's belly with a grin, making Sammy convulse. This was the old Dean. Affectionate, lively, bouncy. Sam brought that out in him, was probably the only one that did, acting like a time machine for both of them. No wonder Dean never wanted to be separated from his baby brother it made him joyful again, gave him a purpose.
After another glance at his watch, John helped Sammy scramble off his lap and pulled himself to his feet.
"Alright boys, crazy time is over for tonight. I need my beauty sleep," he commented with a wink earning a pair of confused looks. He shook his head before adding "Bedtime"
"Nooooo!" Sammy squealed eliciting giggles from Dean as John found a boy latched onto each leg.
"We're limpets!" Dean's eyes gleamed up at his father, full of mischief.
"Ok, well these limpets are headed for bed" John started to move slowly pulling his sons along with him. He got as far as the bottom of the stairs before placing his hands on his hips. "Ride's over. Up we go"
"We didn't say night to Jim and Bobby" Dean said seriously but his daddy shook his head not stupid enough to fall into that trap, again.
"They're busy now, I'll send them on up to you." John's tone was firm as he came to the realization that this evening perhaps wasn't the smartest of times for encouraging rough housing. "Behave yourselves, please."
"But dad" Dean started, a bottom lip jutting out as he raised his freckled face to look up at the voice of authority.
John raised a finger in warning "Haven't we had this conversation about backchat several times this week? Including a few hours ago at the diner." Dean blushed at the memory of being told off in front of his favorite waitress.
"Yes, sir," Dean said reluctantly, unwinding his legs as he started drooping up the stairs. But John hadn't been fast enough to catch his little ball of energy.
"Sammy!!" He called out following the excited babble back into the main room where Sam had already settled himself on Jim's lap and had a book open. Curious George, he noted once close enough to read the title. "What did I just say about behaving, young man?" he demanded sternly.
Sam's eyebrows furrowed to match his fathers "Wha' did I twust say 'bout b'heaving young man?" he mocked.
John raised an eyebrow making a mental note to get the boys back to bedtime routines. He knew it had been a mistake to give into their various requests and manipulations"I'll have bad dreams if I don't watch a funny cartoon first".
"Samuel Winchester. Don't make me take those lovely new toys away from you on your very first day."
"NO!" Sam screeched snatching the book and throwing it against the wall as he launched into a full scale tantrum.
"Ah will y'look at that? The kid has some of your traits after all John. Picked up your temper," Bobby smirked with a jerk of his head in Sam's direction.
John glared, none too flattered by the comparison, before returning his expectant look to Sam "You're not helping Singer," he growled through gritted teeth.
Samuel! Cut it out," He snapped his fingers warningly.
"NOT TIRED!!!" Sammy shouted, frustrated and on the verge of tears.
The screams paused for only a moment, allowing the adults to breathe a sigh of relief, before they started back up again. Apparently, the terrible two's had come late for John's youngest. He arched back in Jim's arms making the older man lose his grip as he struggled to hold up Sam's head. Taking the opportunity to escape, the toddler ran to the pile of presents that hadn't yet been cleared and started scattering them with his hands.
Jim appeared by Sammy's side just before John had a chance to take the boy in hand, trying to calm the situation.
"Would you like to read this story with me Sam?" he asked kindly taking in the boys drooping eyes. The sense of security was inviting to the tired three year old as he stood on wobbly legs and nodded reaching out for the book. Unfortunately for him, John had other plans.
He scooped Sammy up, resting the small squirming body against his shoulder as he landed several quick swats on the seat of his the red and blue pajamas.
"Owwie!" Sammy wailed, immediately bursting into tears, a hand flying back to protect his vulnerable bottom.
"See Murphy, that's how you put an end to mouthy boys," Bobby commented approvingly as John carried his young troublemaker up to the bedroom.
Sam pouted stubbornly as John brushed his tiny white teeth, having to gently prise open the boy's mouth and half expected to be bitten for his efforts. When he entered the bedroom he found Dean sitting up in bed, biting down on his lip anxiously. No doubt he'd heard the commotion downstairs and was expecting a warning for his own rebellion.
"Good boy for being in bed," John praised, ruffling his sons' hair before trying to lower Sam in next to his brother. But the baby was having none of that. His feet kick out, trying desperately to hold his grip around John's neck.
"This is your last chance, Sammy boy," he growled in frustration.
"I don' wanna go to bed!" Sam protested, breaking the stubborn silence.
"You are a tired, cranky little boy who needs his sleep," John said, sighing. Sammy clung tighter and shook his head rebelliously.
"Dad, could you, I don't know, Maybe Sammy would like it if you sang to him
" Dean said cautiously.
"I WANNA STORY!" Sam demanded.
"Little boys who yell do not get what they want, Samuel." John said, sighing reluctantly as he pulled back the covers and tapped Dean's shoulder. "Scoot over." He rested against the headboard, smiling to himself as the weight shift in the bed causes Dean to roll into his side. John reached out an arm pulling him closer, his warm small body was comforting. On his chest Sam is still sniffling and rubbing his snotty nose into John's shirt.
"Thanks, squirt," John said wryly, rolling his eyes, but repositions the boy so that he's sprawled across his broad muscular chest. Sammy's hand is absently rubbing at his small behind.
"My bottom hurts," he whined pitifully.
"You're just fine. You were naughty and that's why Daddy smacked you" He explained calmly making sure that Sam knows he wasn't mean just for the sake of it.
John knew he didn't smack hard enough to cause any damage. He'd always been careful with how he punishes his sons. A few swats usually caused enough of a sting that they think twice about their actions, but both of them were so small, he was terrified of hurting them with his brutishly large hands. But his baby was still learning he can't get his own way with tantrums and required a lot of coddling. John rubbed the small back comfortingly.
"I'm s-s-sorry, daddy."
When he thought his dad wasn't looking, Sammy's thumb sneakily found its way into his mouth, lips clamping down around it. The movement caught John's eye and he tugged it out with a gentle "No".
The words didn't have much effect though because minutes later the thumb was right back in, and this time John let it slide running a hand through the loose curls, his other arm still holding Dean to his side. His reassuring touch comforts the boys as they drift off to sleep.
He didn't mind singing something, low and gruff, something Mary taught him. He felt Dean immediately relax beside him and Sam's sighed breathily, one finger going up to twirl one last baby curl left on his shaggy mane.
Both of them were asleep within a few minutes, but John selfishly stayed, allowing himself the precious moments of watching them sleep, eyelids fluttering as they dream. When he eased off the bed, still cradling Sam against his body, both boys stirred.
Dean's choked voice caught John's breath as he froze, his heart was thumping so loudly he was sure Sam could feel it. He gently laid Sam down beside his brother, watching as his oldest son reached out in his sleep for Sam. He waited for him to fall back asleep. Dean was soon still again but the pained expression on his face didn't go unnoticed. And, hours after he left the boys snuggled together; the heartbreaking request hadn't left John's brain as he finished off another beer.
The next morning Dean grunted turning his head to face the other direction as a sharp poke in his shoulder woke him.
"Deanie?" Sam's voice was apprehensive as he tried again, digging his chubby little finger into his brother's rib this time eliciting a frustrated growl.
"What Sammy?!" The older boy snapped causing the toddler to crawl back to the other side of the bed, his bottom lip trembling.
"Mr Bear not here. No one to pway with" Sam pouted taking a deep breath.
Eager to avoid another tantrum, Dean quickly sat up in the bed kicking the sheets off till they landed in a heap on the ground. His arms reached out grasping Sam and tugged him close till he felt the heavy head resting on his chest. Dean was sure he'd never been that much of a baby himself but knowing Sam needed cuddles in the morning; he allowed his little brother the luxury. One thumb slipped into Sammy's mouth whilst his other sticky hand grasped the collar of Dean's t-shirt as he stared up with wide eyes in wonder.
The peace didn't last long though as Sam grew restless.
"Sammy! No" Dean raised an eyebrow at him as he used the sheets to slide off the bed then tottered over to the door reaching up to the handle to pull it open.
Sam looked over his shoulder; chewing on his bottom lip "No??" he asked innocently.
"No. It's early. You can play with me, we can
" Dean looked around him desperately searching for inspiration. He knew his Dad was tired from the last job he'd been working and relied on Dean to keep them Sam out of trouble and occupied in the morning.
His brain wasn't working fast enough though as the toddler slipped through the small gap and his excited babble could be heard echoing down the hallway.
Dean groaned hitting his head as he scrambled down himself and ran out scooping Sammy up just before he reached the top step.
Bobby's booming voice almost sent them both tumbling down the stairs as the stern looking hunter appeared by his side, hand reaching out to catch Dean's arm and pull them from the edge.
"DEAN! What have you boys been told about running around up here?" Bobby demanded crouching to their level. A muttered curse escape his lips as Sam threw himself into Bobby's arms with an enthusiastic yell of "Bobbleeee! You've hair!"
Dean shrugged his bony shoulders as he focused on picking at the peeling paint on the banister.
"Don't try that with me, I know fine that you Winchesters always have something to say" Bobby spoke gruffly but with a hint of affection as Dean looked up at him, shuffling nervously under the gaze. "A hunters house is no place for little boys to be running around by themselves. If I've told Johnny once, I've told him a dozen times"
"Wha's a hunter?" Sam asked curiously looking between his 'uncle' and brother whilst running his hands over Bobby's head, fascinated by the lack of cap.
Dean shot Bobby a look of frustration "Sam listens to a lot of conversations now. Dad says we have to be careful in front of him"
"Oh" Bobby nodded with understanding as Sammy proudly held up five fingers.
"I'm this much!"
Dean gently put down two of his fingers before pulling his brother back to his side, still weary of letting anyone else near him. "Can we play with some of the toys Uncle Jim bought please? We won't be any bother."
"Of course you wouldn't" The hunter replied sarcastically straightening and ran a hand over his face. "Well, your daddy is already out getting some of the supplies we need so I suppose it wouldn't do any harm. I heard you were offered waffles for breakfast" he commented already heading down expecting the boys to follow him. Hearing Sam bump his way down on his bottom. "I ain't making no Mickey shaped heads!"
His walls. His beautiful white-with-a-hint-of-cream walls. Granted, they weren't actually the cleanest or brightest of walls but he'd spent the summer repainting and doing odd jobs around the house. That's all Jim could think about.
Sam stood with a crayon in one hand and a red coloring pen in the other, a mix of happiness, excitement and apprehension on his little face. What looked like a green t-shirt belonging to Dean was drowning his little frame, hanging off his shoulders. Dean was stood next to him wearing dark blue combats and one of his faded shirts that no doubt needed replaced a long time ago. Apprehension and guilt was written all over his face as he held a paintbrush in his hand.
"Am I really 'lowed to paint and color?" Sam checked again. He'd asked Jim that five times within the past minute.
"Yep, any color you want" The Pastor had replied whilst chopping the vegetables as small as he could hoping the boys wouldn't notice so much when eating their lunch.
Sam's eyes lit up "I like you!" He announced swinging his legs from the chair he was perched on; cookie crumbles still covering his lips.
Bobby and John had headed out during the morning to follow up on a lead and had left Jim in charge of the two youngest Winchesters. Not that he minded. It was a rare opportunity that he got to spend time alone with them, without children of his own to spoil he enjoyed taking a part in their games. Making sure they got some of the nutrition that he was sure diners and drive-thru couldn't supply, despite John's best efforts.
Several hours into the babysitting though and both boys were restless. He'd taken them to a crafts store and bought a host of stencils animals, stars, moons, suns, dolphins and fish. Dean wasn't over enthusiastic about coloring in apparently it was too easy. Jim couldn't really argue there, John had his son drawing complicated devil's traps when he'd just turned six. Not that he'd explained what they for but coloring an elephant was surely lower down the ladder.
"And they's c'n go in our room?" Sam asked, his little tongue poking out from between his pink lips, brows furrowed as his eyes crunched up in concentration. A sure sign that a plot was being formed. A sign that unfortunately went unnoticed by Jim as he agreed before ushering Sam out in order to finish preparing lunch.
Now he understood why there'd been so many questions. They'd taken the suggestions to heart. When Jim had told them they could decorate the room and supplied them with paper, he envisioned them sitting down at the table for hours quite content. He'd then cut the stencils out and decide with the boys where to place them in the room. Simple to remove a couple of years down the line when they outgrew the idea. Never, would he have agreed to his wall turning into an art studio. Nor the use of paints they'd clearly pulled from a cupboard, a paint covered plank of wood lying on the ground that had been used to prise the lid open.
A blue elephant neatly adorned the wall above a plug socket, a green star next to that then under the window a multi-colored fish. After that the stencils must have been rejected because the room was full of short and stubby strokes of black paint. Scribbles of crayon and various "5AM" s, which Jim took to mean "Sam". Judging by the height and red pen markings on the dresser, he soon calculated that they'd climbed up the dresser in order to draw the rainbow above it.
Having seen enough he turned his stern gaze back to Dean whose shoulders were hunched forward, tensed as he waited for the verdict.
"This is what you've been doing for the last couple of hours?You boys know better than to touch what doesn't belong to you"
He folded his arms across his chest, bottom lip jutting out "It's our room!! We always sleep in there"
"Dean Winchester, keep your attitude in check young man" Jim furrowed his eyebrows in disapproval. It wasn't the first time there'd been smart answers waiting on the tip of the boys tongue.
Dean bit down on his lip, one eyebrow cocking in concentration before he lost the fight to conceal his smirk "Checked"
Jim rolled his eyes catching his arm and turned him to the side landing a couple of well-placed swats on his jean covered bottom. As he released him he didn't miss the wide-eyed surprise at the mild discipline.
"Just because I don't lay down the law as heavy as your daddy and Bobby, does not mean you disrespect me. You spend your life with hun
" he caught himself seeing Sam's eyes narrow with curiousity "With adults," he corrected "it might not be fair sometimes but if there's one thing I know about Winchesters it's that they are smart". Dean's slump disappeared with the praise and Sam soon followed suit always eager to follow his brother's lead. "Don't make me change my mind"
"Yes sir" Dean replied with resignation.
Jim sighed heavily before taking a small hand in each of his own, leading them to the bathroom "I think we need to get you cleaned up then some corner time before your supper"
"We still get supper?" Dean questioned skeptically propping himself up on the edge of the bathtub, watching as his favorite babysitter wet a couple of facecloths.
"Yes for some reason I prefer to feed you at a suitable hour than be woken to the sound of you crunching your way through stale biscuits in the dark" He commented remembering the last time that John had sent them to bed early on hungry stomachs. A sad smile reached his eyes as he brushed Dean's hair back with one hand running the cloth over his face and down his neck before scrubbing at his hands.
"Why did you have to do this kid? You know better than that" He spoke softly, not with the sharp tone often used by the other adults in Dean's life when they were angry.
Dean stole a glance at Sammy whose eyes were welling up and made his decision "I was bored"
"That's no excuse, young man"
"I kept Sammy busy!" Dean retorted indignantly
" The warning was clear.
"You gave us everything and Dad went out. We wanted to play with our new toys"
"I like books!" Sam chipped in.
"But I can't read them without Dad" Dean added stubbornly, his frustration at being stuck inside surfacing once more. "And he put my army men away just so we have more stupid books or board games! The impala is turning into a stupid ass schoolroom"
"Ohhhh you's said a bad word Deeeanie!" An accusing finger pointed at him as he was marched out of the room and into a corner.
By the time John arrived home the boys were already in their pajamas and settled in bed, asleep, at least by Jim's last check they were 'asleep'.
Pausing outside the bedroom though, John's hand rested on the doorknob listening to the giggles coming from the other side of the door. He sent up a silent prayer to whoever was listening that he didn't have yet another night of temper tantrums. Steeling himself for the worst he twisted the knob in his hand, opening the door to his two little monkeys perched at the edge of the bed, legs dangling off the side, hands delved deeply into a packet of travel sized M&M's between them.
"Sleep! Sleep!" Sammy squealed diving over his brother's lap and scrambling under the covers, fully aware that he was in trouble.
Dean, whilst more aware that becoming a talkative lump under the bed wouldn't help his cause, still tried to pull of the puppy eyed look that his younger sibling would come to perfect over the following years.
Unfortunately for him, his father was well aware of this trick and being too tired to waste anytime to listen to the boys excuses he sat himself on the edge of the bed. His well-muscled arm wrapped around Dean's waist as he tried to scoot further away and unceremoniously deposited him over his lap, upturned bottom in perfect position. John rubbed his stubbled chin contemplating the situation briefly before sweeping down the pants. Of all the situations his sons could, and had, potentially got themselves into over the years this really wasn't that bad. But he would not allow his children to grow up to be brats.
"I never want to hear of you giving lip to anyone, I've let you away with this behavior for too long. Clearly it was a mistake, and one that won't be made again" he lectured bringing his hand down smartly on the pale quivering bottom in front of him. He alternated between each cheek making sure the smacks overlapped the previous one. As soon as he reached a count of fifteen he tugged up the pants that had fallen to Dean's ankles and was careful not to brush them against the newly spanked skin.
"I'm s-sorry Daddy" Dean sniffed, his seven year old self surfacing.
"I know kiddo, but apologies mean nothing if you don't follow up on the promises," he reminded gently pressing a kiss to the clammy forehead. He scooped his son up in his arms settling him under the comforter, a small smile dancing across his features as Dean grimaced rolling onto his stomach.
His little rebel was still upright creating a tent shaped lump on the other side of the bed muttering to himself by the sounds of it. John uncovered him to find 'Deee bear' hiding his youngest's face. He removed the soft plush toy with relative ease and repeated the same action he had with Dean. Being careful to keep a secure arm around his little wriggler he started in with the spanking. He knew lecturing never worked with Sammy during a punishment; his baby just didn't understand. The solid smacks covering the clenched bottom were enough of a reminder and as soon as he had covered both cheeks twice he turned Sam over whispering reassuring words into his ear as he laid back on the bed himself, his boy still in his arms. Like Dean he'd been careful just to leave a sting that would stay with them till morning, they were both so small he could never bring himself to put more power behind it. There was no need; his boys needed a daddy not a strict parole officer.
Resigning himself to a night of backache and being drooled on, John shifted down further in the lumpy mattress until both boys were sprawled half on the bed, half on his chest. A warm heavy hand rested on the small of their backs.
He gave into the lure of sleep rejoicing in the silence till a tiny voice piped up
"You c'n have it Dean"
He peeped an eye open to find Sam thrusting the bear into Dean's arms clearly affected by the sorrow in his hero's eyes. He wasn't to know that it wasn't a bear his brother longed for, cried out for at night but it was the best he could offer, John noted sadly. His boys were each other's rock, protector and conspirator for life.
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