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Wishlist 2010

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Ficlet(s)

This story is No. 2 in the series "Wishlists". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Twenty-four gifts for twenty-four people giving me twenty-four prompts. Ficlet collection. Part II. - Now Up: To The Ground! verse Christmas fluff.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Ficlet Collections - Other(Moderator)FaithUnbreakableFR152440,119311736,38330 Nov 1024 Dec 10Yes

heavy in your heart - SPN

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Unless you don’t know it. Then I do. Possibly. Title belongs to Florence and the Machine.
A/N: Oh, boys.

Prompt: avamclean, aka Ava, asked for SPN, Bobby Singer, Lovin’ those boys hurts beyond reason, but then Bobby hasn’t been a reasonable man in some time.

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heavy in your heart

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The first time you set eyes on those boys, they are six and two, Dean with big solemn eyes, little Sammy clinging to his legs, peeking around jeans that are too big for Dean.

John ushers them into your house and you see the look on his face, the one you know all too well, already. It’s the one that means he’s going to ask you for something you don’t want to give but will anyway because you were in his shoes once, full of anger, full of hate, desperately trying to find reason in your wife’s tragedy, her murder.

You never say no to John Winchester but, by God, looking at those tiny, lost boys, you wish you could.

He says things like please, like it’s only a few days, things like there’s no-one else, please, I’m desperate.

John has been desperate since November and fire, but you don’t say that. Instead you wonder what he’ll do if you say no. Where he’ll store those children he should be raising, in order to go and chase his wife’s ghost. You never met Mary Winchester, but you like to think she’d kick her husband’s ass if she could see those children. So silent, so old already.

So you say yes and you hate yourself and him in equal measure as you do.

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The first thing you notice about them, really, is how silent they are. Children are supposed to scream and run and break things, but when time comes for dinner, you have to search for them all over the place. You find them silently curled up in one of the many dusty upstairs rooms. Dean is telling Sammy a story and he stops as soon as he notices you, shifting so he’s between you and his brother.

You tell him dinner is ready and instead of running downstairs like any other child would, he nods and picks up his brother, coaching him down the stairs on chubby feet.

He feeds Sammy before he feeds himself and when you ask if they need help getting ready for bed he looks at you as if you’re stupid. “No,” he says. It’s the first word you ever hear out of his mouth.

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The problem isn’t that there are suddenly two boys you never wanted running through your big, empty house. They make no noise and barely any work, eat like mice and keep themselves occupied well enough.

It’s like living with two very small ghosts.

You grumble about their shit lying around, which is a lie, about having to cook all the time, which is true, but not a bad thing. You grumble about anything and everything to do with them and you make a point of cursing their father out loud at least three times a day, especially after he calls to inform you the hunt’s going to take longer and you don’t mind, do you?

Yes, you damn well mind.

You mind because you look at them and you remember that you always wanted to have girls, but Karen, oh, Karen said boys would be better. Boys for you to get into trouble with, she said and you look at Sammy and Dean and you see the children you never had, the chances you never got.

So you keep them at arm’s length.

If Karen could see you with those boys she’d kick your ass for being so selfish, for not taking proper care of them just because you dislike the heavy weight of old grief settling in your chest.

But Karen is dead.

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Of course, no-one escapes the charm of a Winchester for long and Lord knows, you’re going to try in the following twenty years.

Within the one month John leaves them with you, you fall and fall hard for them.

It’s the way they look scared of the dark, the way their big eyes follow you around, the way they sit in front of the telephone, waiting for their father to call. The way they play with your lousy guard dog, the way Dean spends twenty minutes staring at you before deciding that it’s alright to ask you for help with getting something from the uppermost cupboard in the guestroom.

It’s the way those boys need to be loved so obviously and there’s really no-one else around to do it.

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And then John comes and takes them away again and that’s the first time your heart breaks because of those beautiful, damaged, brave, stubborn, idjit boys.

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They break it again and again, your old heart, over the next twenty years.

They break it every time they come back with a few more ghosts in their eyes and every time they leave in their father’s backseat.

Dean breaks it when he’s ten and has a broken leg from taking a fall in a haunted house and refuses to take his drugs because, “Dad wouldn’t either.”

Sam breaks it when he sulks for two weeks because John moved them the day before his science fair, dumping them at your place, and never mind that Dean and Sam spent two weeks building that goddamn volcano.

And again when Dean is sixteen and shaking because he just killed his first human, when Sam is fourteen and has seventeen stitches in his forearm, when they call you after two weeks without a word from John, hesitant and scared and still so young. When Sam has his first heartbreak and Dean his first hangover, when Sam starts hiding books and papers every time John enters a room and when Dean starts watching Sam with hawk’s eyes, pretending not to see anything out of the ordinary.

They break your heart endlessly and you always tell yourself this is the last time and when they turn up on your doorstep, you always let them in. You think there are probably only so many times an old man’s heart can break before it’s done for and loving those boys hurts, hurts beyond reason.

But then you haven’t been a reasonable man in some time.

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And then Sam is gone and Dean is half a person and John is an asshole like never before. You tell him to get the hell out of your house and John does.

Dean, for some stupid, dumb reason, thinks that your beef with his father is your beef with him and stays away for three long years.

You didn’t realize how empty the house is until all the boys’ things are gone and the dumb dog keeps dropping toys at your feet because he misses someone to play with.

The day they come back, with a demon hot on their tail, you release a breath you didn’t know you were holding and open the door wide for them.

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After that unfortunate reunion, they keep coming back and while you would never, never send them away, you are well aware of all of hell clinging to their heels, the scent of ash and brimstone constantly clinging to them.

There’s a storm coming, you tell them and you know that a smart man would jump ship, would tell them to solve their own problems, to battle their ugly legacy alone. They come like in the old days, but instead of chatter they bring danger and death.

Heaven and hell converge on those boys and they keep dying, keep pulling each other back, keep holding on too tight, wanting too much and asking too little, keep losing and losing and losing and, by God, you should send them away.

You can’t say no to them any more than you could to their father.

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And then there’s a demon in your body and a knife in your hand and it’s either you or them.

You pick them and drive the knife home, right under your ribs and all the way through.

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