I do not own SPN of BtVS. That's Joss Whedon and Eric Kripke.
Dean Winchester woke up with a start, his hand automatically going to the knife he kept under his pillow, knowing he might need it even though he wasn’t even ten yet. Once he realized there was no threat, his eyes turned to his little brother in bed next to him. Sammy was sleeping deeply, his breathing even, and Dean relaxed some.
He left the knife where he knew Sammy could get it if he needed it and slipped out of bed to investigate the yelling that had woken him. He tiptoed through the motel room of the moment, following the sound of raised voices to the front door. He cracked it open and peeked out, unafraid as he recognized his father’s voice.
John Winchester stood fifteen feet from where Dean stood eavesdropping. He was haloed in light from a streetlight, his arms crossed over his chest and a scowl set firmly on his face aimed at the person he was with. It was a woman, tall and curvy, but she was facing away from Dean, so he couldn’t identify her. Her hands were on her hips and her body language screamed ‘angry’.
The woman sighed, obviously exasperated, and exclaimed, “Dammit, Johnny, they’re mine, too! You can’t keep them forever, especially not in this life. You will destroy them and I won’t accept that!”
“Jesus, Cordelia,” John growled and Dean had a name to put to the mystery woman. “You’ve never been there, never cared before. Why now?”
Her hand shot up and slapped John across the face. “How dare you say I’ve never cared! I’ve done nothing but care, John! I gave up so much so that they would be safe, so that they could stay far, far away from the supernatural, but you’re throwing all that in my face, dragging them around the country like this, after a goddamn demon
John threw up his hands. “A demon that killed Mary,” he argued. “I have to kill it!”
“You’re going to get yourself killed in the process!” she snapped back. “And, worse, you’re going to get my children killed in the process!”
Dean stilled at her words, wondering what she meant, what they were talking about. Her children?
John interrupted his thoughts by saying, “We’ll talk about this tomorrow, Cordelia. We’re going to wake the boys and I have a corpse to salt and burn.” Dean’s father grabbed the duffel bag at his feet and turned on his heel and strode away.
Cordelia shook her head and sat down on the curb, muttering, “A corpse to salt and burn, he says. Saving people, hunting things, he says. The family business
, he says. Oh, yeah, that sounds nice. Sounds like a freakin’ fantastic way for Dean and Sam to grow up.”
Dean crept out of the hotel room, making sure the door stayed open behind him. He snuck towards the woman, listening to her rant and rave under her breath as he walked. When he was just a few feet from her, she turned her head to look at him over her shoulder. He stilled, tensed for whatever happened next.
She smiled and she was beautiful and kind-looking and Dean wanted to trust her, but John had made sure he knew to never trust anyone. “Hi, Dean,” she said softly and Dean got a funny feeling in his stomach because she was looking at him like he was the most precious thing in the world. “I had a feeling you were listening. How much did you hear?”
She patted the curb next to her in invitation, so Dean sat, despite his training. “Not much. Just you and my dad fighting. Who are you? What were you guys fighting about? What did you mean when you talked about your children?” Dean almost clapped a hand over his mouth to make the questions stop. Wasn’t Sammy the one who couldn’t ever stop talking?
“My name is Cordelia Chase-Winchester. Your dad and I were fighting about how you and your brother are being raised. And I’m not sure I should answer the last question. I don’t know if you really want to know, Dean,” she told him and she was so nice that Dean didn’t even pull away when she ran her hand through his hair.
“Your name is Winchester?” At her nod, he asked, “Are you my family?” She was hesitant this time, but again she nodded. Dean looked at her for a moment before insisting, “I want to know.”
Cordelia sighed and folded her hands in her lap. “Your dad and I used to be married. Oh, we were so happy, Dean. I loved him so much. He was in the Marines and I was a hunter, like your dad is now.”
Dean interrupted to ask skeptically, “You
were a hunter? You’re just a girl.”
She laughed and took his hand and held it between hers. “Yeah, I’m a girl, but I’m still a damn fine hunter,” she told him. “Anyway, I was a hunter and, as you know, it’s a dangerous job. So, when I got pregnant, I was really scared for my baby. But John convinced me that the baby would be alright, even with what I did for a living. He was mostly right. We had some close calls, but our son was happy and safe. I got pregnant again awhile later and things started to go downhill. There were some really big bads brewing up trouble and John and I decided that our kids would be safer if I wasn’t in their lives. So I left while I was pregnant and gave the baby to John when he was born. It was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done, but it was what I thought was right.”
She stopped to wipe at the tears that had pooled in her eyes and Dean took the opportunity to ask, “It was us, wasn’t it? Your kids? It was me and Sammy.”
Cordelia nodded and wrapped her arm around Dean to pull him into her side. “Yes, it was you. I’m your mother.”
“So, who do I remember? Who’s Mary and why did she raise us?” he demanded.
“Mary was my best friend. She was also a hunter, but she’d been out of the business for years and years. It seemed perfect. She had all the training, but nothing was gunning for her. Or so we thought. She moved in with you and John in my place and took my place as your mother. She loved you so much and she did love John. None of it was a lie; you had a happy family for the year that Mary was your mother,” Cordelia explained, pressing a kiss to Dean’s temple.
Dean frowned and wondered, “Why don’t I remember you? I wasn’t that little when Sammy was born, I should remember you.”
She nodded. “Yeah, you should, but I have a friend who’s a witch and she blocked me from your memory. It’s all still there, all the memories, but it’s like they’re behind a wall,” she answered.
Dean unconsciously snuggled into her side and didn’t even think to protest when she pulled him into her lap. They sat curled together for a long time, enjoying being together. “I have a mother,” Dean murmured finally.
Cordelia beamed and peppered his face with kisses. “I have a son,” she returned. “I love you very much.” She stood up with Dean still in her arms. “Come on, baby, let’s get you back to bed.”
She carried him back to the room and Dean dozed off in her arms, but not before mumbling, “I love you, too, mommy.”
An hour later, when John finally made his way back to the motel room from the cemetery, he found both his sons in their bed and curled around Cordelia like they were magnetized together, all three sound asleep.