They were driving from South Dakota to Oklahoma, a pretty straight shot if John didn’t have two little kids with him. If he was alone he wouldn’t have to stop expect for gas, but a three and seven year old couldn’t sit still that long.
“Daddy,” Sam whined from his booster seat in the back. “I gots to go potty.”
“Yeah,” Dean replied. “And I’m hungry. Really, really hungry.”
“Me too!” Sam half yelled from behind them.
“Alright,” John sighed. “I’ll get off at the next exit and we’ll find something to eat.”
He really wanted to make it to Oklahoma. John had gotten used to driving alone while his boys were at Singer’s Auto Salvage when Dean was at school. No toddler kicking the seat while he drove, Dean wasn’t staring out the window silently, making John somewhat uneasy for a reason he couldn’t really explain. Dean had become extremely introverted since he started school. For a little boy that was used to be so full of life and laughter when he was little, his personality change the last few years scared John quite a bit. But on the other hand, for a seven year old, Dean was dealing with the trauma in his life pretty well.
He pulled off the interstate somewhere in Nebraska and found a Roadhouse where they could grab some lunch. Dean got Sam out of his booster seat and took him by the hand, up to the front door. Dean pulled his school back pack filled with activities to keep the toddler occupied while they waited for food over his shoulder. They were sat in the corner; Dean took Sammy off to the restroom while John ordered their drinks. Then the boys returned to the table. Sam had a coloring book and crayons out to keep him quiet for a few minutes, Dean scanned the room skeptically, like any seven year old would.
“This place is weird, dad,” Dean said looking over to his father. “I don’t think I like it.”
“Too bad,” John sighed, he loved his boy, he really did, but sometimes they were just a handful. “This is where we’re eating lunch.”
The waitress approached the table a tray of drinks balanced on her hand, blonde hair pulled back out of her face in a ponytail and very pregnant.
“Chocolate milk!” Sam smiled looking up to make eye contact with the woman’s belly. “Whoa.”
“Sam,” John said in a warning tone. “Thank you ma’am.”
“Just let me know when you’re ready to order,” the waitress smiled.
“Did you get stinged by a bee?” Sam asked, eyes never leaving the woman’s swollen belly. “One time my broder, he got stinged by a bee and he blowed up like a balloon.”
“Sammy,” John warned and then turned to the waitress. “Sorry.”
“Curious little boys,” the waitress smiled sweetly. “Nothing to be sorry for. I’ll be back in a couple minutes.” She turned and left to tend to her other tables.
“What happened to her?” Sam asked as soon as the woman was away from the table.
“She’s having a baby, Sam,” John replied. “She’s got a baby in her belly.”
Sam looked at his dad skeptically. “No,” he shook his head. “That’s silly.” He turned back to his coloring book and continued to scribble; then looked up quickly. “How did it get in there?”
“I’ll tell you when you’re older,” John sighed. Dean giggled. He thought he knew everything about where babies come from.
“I know,” Dean nodded, telling smirk on his face.
“No, you don’t,” John rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, huh,” Dean nodded. “Jason told me. He said that a mommy has to eat a daddy’s seed and then it grows in her belly until it turns into a baby.”
“That’s exactly correct,” John nodded, hoping that would be the end of this discussion.
“You have to eat it?” Sam said confused, pressing a hand on his stomach. “What if I eated it on accident one time?”
“You can’t have a baby Sam,” Dean sighed. “You have to be a girl.”
“Oh,” Sam nodded. “Okay.”
He turned back to his coloring book and scribbled away, but he couldn’t stop thinking about it. He had more and more questions growing in his head after the woman returned to take their order and left again.
“How does they get out?” Sam asked seriously after John ordered for them.
“I’ll explain it to you when you’re older, okay?” John said. “Just color.”
“Was I in a belly?” Sam continued.
“Yes,” John sighed. “You came from your mom’s belly.”
“I remember,” Dean nodded. “Mom got really big and then one day she went to the doctor and came back with you.”
“I don’t like this,” Sam shook his head. He used both hands to pull his milk toward him. “Too fusing for Sam.”
“Then stop thinking about it,” John said ruffling the three year old's hair.
But Sam didn’t. He kept looking for the waitress over his grilled cheese sandwich, followed her with his eyes as she waited other tables and check on them a few times and brought them dessert. Sam tried to steal a bite of Dean’s apple pie but Dean stabbed him in the hand with his fork.
“But I want it,” Sam whined.
“Eat your ice cream,” Dean instructed.
“I did,” Sam pouted. “All gone.”
“Well, eat slower,” Dean nodded. “And they you won’t have to try to eat mine.”
“But I want it,” Sam repeated.
“Stop it Sammy,” John warned. “You already had your dessert.”
Sam huffed and crossed his arms over his chest.
“I need to go potty again,” he announced. “I go all by myself.”
“Alright,” John nodded. “Remember to wash your hands. Go and come right back here.”
Sam slide off the chair and made his way across the restaurant. The place was small enough for John to see the small boy as he made his way to the restroom.
On the way out, Sam almost ran into the pretty pregnant waitress as he rushed to head back to the table, very proud of himself.
“Sorry,” Sam said looking up to her. “I didn’t mean to.”
“It’s alright, little buddy,” she smiled, placing a hand on his head.
“My daddy said there is a baby in there,” Sam said pointing at the woman’s expanded belly.
“Yes there is,” the waitress smiled. “A little girl.”
“One time,” Sam said looking up. “I bited my brother, Dean. And he tasted bad, like dirt. Why would you eat a whole baby?”
“What’s your name sweetie?” the waitress asked.
“Sammy. S-A-M,” Sam nodded. He was pretty proud that he could spell it, told everyone he met that Dean taught him how to spell his name. “I’m three.” He held up three fingers for her.
“Well, Sammy S-A-M,” the waitress smiled. “I didn’t eat a baby. It’s just growing in there until it’s ready to come out. Kind of like a cake in an oven. How about I take you back to your dad? I’m sure he’ll tell you all about babies if you ask him real nice.”
“Okay,” Sam nodded taking the woman’s hand as she led him back to the table. “Daddy, the lady sayed you don’t eat babies. Dean was not right.”
“I’ll explain it later,” John sighed handing the waitress the check. “I’m very sorry.”
The pretty woman laughed. “No, it’s fine. Happens every day I swear. The little ones are just curious.”
“How does they get in there?” Sam whispered as he was led by the hand out of the restaurant by his father. “I need to know.”
“No you don’t,” John said, wishing the toddler would just drop it; find something else to occupy his mind.
“I do, Daddy,” Sam nodded as John strapped him into the car seat. “I need to know how they get out. How does the baby get out when it’s ready? The lady said that her belly was like an oven for cakes. And that the baby cooks in there.”
“Kind of,” John nodded. He closed the back door and opened his own, watching as Dean buckled himself into the passenger’s side.
“But there’s no door,” Sam continued. “Cakes come out the door. Ladies don’t have doors.”
“That’s right,” John nodded. “Don’t worry about it Sammy, okay. I’ll explain when you’re bigger.”
Sam sighed as dramatically as he could muster. “I guess. I think I take a nap now.”
“That’s a very good idea,” John replied.
The car fell into a comfortable silence, soft music from the radio playing to lull the boys into a food coma as they drove south.
That night in a motel room, Sam lay awake staring at the ceiling thinking about babies. How did they get out? He wanted to ask Dean, since Dean remembered when Sam was inside their mom, but Dean was sleeping, like Sam should have been. His dad was snoring in the next bed, so he couldn’t ask him either. Not that Dad would answer him. Dad had made it pretty clear that this topic was closed for further discussion until Sam was big, like Dean. But he just couldn’t let it go.
Sam kept thinking about it, every scenario he could think of to get a baby out of a belly involved exploding. He didn’t know how his mom got to heaven, but he knew that she went there in his room. What if she exploded in his room when he was born? That had to be it. That’s the only thing that made any sense. That’s what happened to his mom. He exploded her.
Sam started to cry and poked Dean in the side.
“What?” Dean mumbled sleepily. “Go to sleep, Sammy.”
“I can’t,” Sam whispered. “I ‘sploded Mommy.”
“What?” Dean rolled over and looked at Sam. He wiped the tears off his little brother’s face. “You exploded what?”
“That’s how babies get out right?” Sam asked. “They ‘splode out of the belly. That’s the only way. And Mommy, you said that she went to my room when she went to heaven. That’s why Daddy wouldn’t tell me. Acuz I ‘sploded Mommy when I done cooking.”
“No, Sammy,” Dean soothed. “You were a baby when Mom went to heaven, not when you were born. You were all cooked in her belly. The doctor took you out. I remember.”
“But,” Sam cried. “But how do they get out? You just get bigger and bigger and they you ‘slode. That’s what happens.”
“No, Sammy,” Dean said pulling Sam close to him, letting him cry into his pajama shirt. “That’s not what happens, the doctor takes a baby out. You didn’t explode Mom. I promise.”
“How do you know?” Sam mumbled. “You don’t know. You’ve never had a baby in your belly you don’t know how they get out. I ‘sloded Mommy.”
“Sammy,” Dean rolled onto his back and pulled Sam’s face onto his chest. “It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t explode her. I promise.”
“What if that’s why Daddy’s mad all the time?” Sam sniffled. “Cuz I ‘sploded Mommy and made her go away. I the reason she went away. I knows it. And now Daddy’s mad all the time cuz he has to see me and he knows I ‘sploded Mommy.”
“No, Sammy,” Dean comforted. “It was an accident. No one exploded. Dad’s not mad at you.”
Sam nodded against Dean’s shirt. “Yeah huh, he always yells at me.”
“That’s cuz you do things when he says not to,” Dean chuckled. “If you but on your listening ears more Dad wouldn’t get mad at you.”
“You are sure?” Sam asked, rubbing his nose against Dean’s shirt.
“One hundred percent,” Dean said. “I know you didn’t explode her because Mom brought you home after the doctor took you out. Mom held you and changed your diaper and gave you baths for a long time before she went to heaven. You don’t explode anyone.”
“Then how come I don’t ameber her?” Sam asked. “Hows come you amember her.”
“Because I’m bigger than you,” Dean explained. He tickled Sam’s side a little to make him laugh. “I was bigger than you are now when Mom went away. So I remember her. I remember her so that I can tell you all about her and make sure you know that you didn’t explode anyone.”
“Don’t tickle monster, Dean,” Sam giggled, trying to roll out of Dean’s grasp. “Daddy’s sleeping he’s gonna yell at us.”
“Do you think you can go to sleep now?” Dean asked pulling back, wrapping his arms around his brother’s middle and pulling him close.
“I think so,” Sam nodded, his hair tickling Dean’s face. “But if you’re lyin’ Deans, I’m going to be very sad.”
“I wouldn’t lie about Mom,” Dean whispered into his brother’s hair. “I swear. You didn’t explode anyone. You don’t have those kinds of powers.”
“Okay, Dean,” Sam said sleepily. “I’m going to sleep now.”
“Good night, Sammy,” Dean answered closing his eyes.