The next morning, Mary awoke with Dean pressed tightly against her again. He hadn't asked if he could join her last night. He just snuck in after she'd fallen asleep and snuggled against her. He was hiding it well, and although he asked about John very often Mary knew that he was missing his daddy a lot more than he was letting on. He hadn't climbed into bed with her for a long time. And there was no talk about monsters under his bed or in the closet or nightmares like most of the times before. She was dealing with a stubborn man, she knew that when she married him, it was so out of character for him to just give up. Their marriage wasn't something she'd ever be ready to just let go of. She'd work too hard making sure she was doing everything right. She wanted her fairytale. She wanted her two little boys to grow up with a dad. She knew John wanted that too. He wanted his boys to grow up knowing they were loved. It felt stupid to let a silly fight get in the way of their happily ever after. Mary knew it was still within reach, she just had to show John that it was still there.
"Good morning baby boy," Mary whispered playing with Dean's hair. "It's time to get up. Time for the day to start."
"One more minute," Dean mumbled.
"Alright," Mary nodded. "I'm gonna go get your brother and start breakfast. I'll meet you down there."
"One more minute," Dean said again rolling over and snuggling his bear against his face.
Mary collected Sam and brought him down to the kitchen. She placed on the chair that she used to bathe him and placed him next to the fridge while she cooked eggs and bacon. She didn't like leaving him in the other room when there was no one else around, and it looked like Sam enjoyed watching her cook.
Dean came down right as she was finishing up the last of the toast, and climbed up into his chair.
"Ready for breakfast?" Mary asked placing the plate in front of him.
"Always ready," Dean nodded. "Breakfast is important."
"What do you want to do today, kiddo?" Mary asked as she picked up Sam and brought him over to the table with her own plate of breakfast.
Dean placed his fork down and looked at his mom. "I think we should do more numbers today. And then I can play outside for a little bit."
"You liked working with numbers?" Mary smiled. She had started to teach him simple addition a few days earlier.
"It's really hard," Dean replied. "But I like it."
"How about for lunch we make a picnic?"
"Like Yogi Bear?" Dean asked excitedly picking his fork back up.
"Yes, exactly like that," Mary nodded. "I was thinking we can bring it over to Daddy's work and we can have lunch with him. I know you miss him."
"I would like that very much," Dean agreed with a mouth full of eggs.
Mary sighed and shook her head, eating her breakfast with her boys.
"Can I help make the sandwiches?" Dean asked pushing a chair across the kitchen toward his mother. "I'm a good helper."
"I know you are," Mary smiled. "But why don't you go get the picnic basket out of the hallway closet? It's on the bottom shelf."
"Okay!" Dean agreed and ran off.
He opened the closet door where they kept the winter coats. He noticed that his dad's big leather coat had fallen to the floor. Dean did his best to get it back up on it's hook but it was too high for him, so he decided that he would bring it to his mom so she could hang it back up. He grabbed the picnic basket, but quickly realized that he couldn't carry the basket and the jacket. He thought about his options for a moment, then decided to put the jacket on and carry the basket. It was just easier that way. He slipped his arms though the sleeves, his arms not even making it halfway down the sleeve, the bottom dragging on the floor as he walked back into the kitchen with the basket.
"Here you go," Dean smiled, placing the basket on the chair he has pushed across the kitchen. "I getted it."
"That you very much," Mary nodded turning to look at him. "What are you doing?"
"What?" Dean shrugged. "I getted the basket."
"Why are you wearing Daddy's big coat it's hot out?"
"It falled on the floor," Dean explained. "I can't reach the high hooks, so I bringed it to you so you can do it."
Mary pulled her son close to her side in a little bit of a sideways hug. Dean looked so small in that jacket, but so adorable.
"You ready to head out?" she asked softly.
"I gotta put my shoes on," Dean nodded. "Is Sam coming?"
"Yes, Sam's coming, we can't just leave him here," Mary chuckled.
"We can," Dean replied. "No one will know. Sam won't even know."
"We're bringing Sam," Mary said sternly. "We can't leave a little baby at home all by himself."
"Why?" Dean asked looked up at her wide-eyed.
"Because I said so," Mary answered. "Give me that jacket, go put on your shoes while I get the baby stuff so all three of us can go surprise Daddy at work."
"Are we walking there?" Dean asked, slipping out of the coat.
"Yes," Mary nodded. "It's just a little bit further than the park. Not that far at all."
"Will you carry me?" Dean asked.
"No, you can walk," Mary replied. "You're a big boy remember, and I gotta carry Sam, Sam's bag and the picnic basket."
"That's why I thinked we should leave Sam here," Dean explained.
"So I can carry you?" Mary smirked.
Dean nodded. "It's easier for you to carry me when Sam is not there."
Mary knelt so she could look Dean right in the eye. "We're taking Sammy with us. We're keeping him. Sam's staying. We're not getting rid of him."
Dean huffed a big sigh.
"I thought you liked being a big brother?" Mary asked.
"I would like it a lot more if he did things," Dean sighed crossing his arms. "I like him, but I can only like him so much when doesn't play with me."
"Just a little bit longer," Mary promised. "He has to be just a little bigger before you can do things with him. I promise, really soon."
"He gets in the way of Dean and Mom time," Dean complained.
"We had a good time this morning," Mary replied placing a hand on Dean's cheek.
"But Sam was right there," Dean pouted. "Just sitting there, in not even a real chair, on the table, doing nothing. I don't get to sit on the table."
"Dean," Mary said. "Listen, Sam's not going anywhere, and everything he's doing, you did when you were a baby. It will all be even when he gets bigger. Right now, I still gotta do everything for Sammy. You can do a lot of things for yourself. I've explained this to you a whole bunch of times. You can be a good big brother if you stop trying to get rid of Sam. Now, go put your shoes on so we can head out."
"But!" Dean whined stomping his foot. "I don't want Sam to go!"
"Too bad," Mary replied. "Go put your shoes on."
"You're the worst," Dean huffed crossing his arms across his chest and running off.
"I know," Mary sighed to herself. "Worst mom ever, refusing to leave an infant in a playpen alone in a house for hours."
When Mary got her boys situated, Sam in his baby backpack strapped to her, diaper bag over her shoulder, picnic basket in one hand, Dean's calm hand in the other, they headed out for the fifteen minute walk to the shop John owned.
Twenty minutes later they were about halfway there, since Dean had to stop to touch dandelions and throw rocks.
"Look a puppy!" Dean yelled dropping Mary's hand and running toward it.
"Dean, come back here, leave the dog alone," Mary called after him.
"I can pet it one time," Dean told her.
"No, you may not, come back here and hold my hand," Mary scowled.
"I want to pet the puppy!" Dean screamed.
"We don't know whose dog that is, you cannot pet a strangers dog," Mary explained. "Get over here, now."
"No!" Dean yelled stomping his foot. "Why are you so mean to me today! I just want to pet the dog."
"Stop being a brat, and get over here now."
"I will not!" Dean yelled as he turned on his heel and ran off down the street and around the corner.
"Son of b-" Mary sighed under her breath. "What are you gonna do about your big brother, Sammy?" She walked to the corner of the street, expecting to see Dean standing there waiting for her, but the road was deserted. No trace of her little boy anywhere.
"DEAN!" she screamed at the top of her lungs causing the few people standing in the yards to turn to look at her, but no sign of Dean.
John felt something hit him in the leg as he worked on Mr. Harrison's old Ford. He looked down to see a mop of blond hair hugging him.
"Hey, Dean," John said confused. "Where's your mom."
"I ran away from her," Dean mumbled into John's coveralls. "She's mean to me."
John leaned down and picked up the boy. "What do you mean she was mean to you?"
"First, she likes Sam more than me," Dean started. "Then she said that Sam had to come with us, even though he can't even eat sandwiches. And then she wouldn't let me pet the puppy."
"Dean," John said seriously. "We've talked about this before. You can't just run off when you think mom's being mean to you."
"You did," Dean replied looking up at his father with his big green eyes. "So I comed here to live with you."
"Oh, kiddo," John sighed hugging Dean close, leaving big greasy hand prints on the back of his shirt. "Your mother is going to kill me."
"Can I help you work?" Dean asked. "I'm a really good helper. I like helping you with the cars."
"I don't think it's a good idea to have you out here," John replied. "But you can help me work on the big car at home. How about we bring you into the office with Angie until your mom gets here."
"I can help her?" Dean asked.
"We'll see," John nodded placing Dean back on the floor and taking his hand. They climbed the short staircase to the windowed office that overlooked the garage where a redheaded woman was sitting behind a desk reading a magazine. "Hey Angie, can you watch him til his mom gets here?"
"This isn't a daycare," Angie sighed. "I'm not a babysitter."
"You're not much of a receptionist either," John answered. "Watch the kid for minute."
"Sure whatever," Angie shrugged.
"Make sure he doesn't kill himself," John barked.
"Maybe his parents should have thought about that before they dropped him off at a garage," Angie sighed.
"He's my kid," John said rolling his eyes. "Just do what I ask. His mom will be here in a minute. I got work to finish. It would be nice if you did the invoices like I asked you to do yesterday, since it's part of you job instead of reading a magazine."
"Yeah okay," Angie shrugged as the phone started to ring. "G and W Garage this is Angela."
"Behave, okay," John said to Dean. "Sit in that chair and wait here for mom. Don't bother Angie while she's on the phone. I'll be back in a few minutes."
"Okay Daddy," Dean nodded as he let go of John's hand and climbed into the chair next to the door.
John turned and walked out to stand in front of the building to wait for his no doubt frantic wife to show up.
When Angie hung up the phone, Dean started to ask her questions."What's your name, I'm Dean Winchester."
"That's pretty I like it," Dean smiled. "What do you do? Maybe I can help. I'm a good helper."
"I have to answer the phone and fill out paperwork," Angie answered. "I don't think it's anything you can do."
"I can write letters," Dean nodded. "I'm very good at it. My mom says so."
"I don't think your dad would like it too much if his work orders were filled out in crayon," Angie smirked. "So just sit there and wait."
"I called on a phone one time," Dean continued. "I called my dad and telled him that my brother was being borned."
"I answered that phone call," Angie sighed, clearly annoyed.
"Do not like little kids?" Dean asked. "You seem mad at me."
"I'm not really a big fan of kids, no," Angie said shaking her head as she picked up the magazine again.
"Okay," Dean replied kicking his feet back and forth. "I'm a good kid though."
"I'm sure you are," Angie nodded. "That's why you randomly showed up with no parents."
"I ran away because my mom is mean," Dean explained.
"Oh, right," Angie said rolling her eyes. "I got work to do, so just be quiet."
"Okay," Dean mumbled, looking down at the floor.
Outside, Mary appeared on the corner of the property looking frantic.
"Someone took my baby!" she screamed going as fast as she could with her arms full and Sam on her back. "John, someone took Dean. He's gone."
"If anyone took him, they'd give in back in twenty minutes," John joked.
"This isn't funny," Mary cried. "He took off because I told him he couldn't pet some strange dog and now he's gone. He's gone forever and the last thing I did was yell at him."
"He's not gone," John started.
"Yes he is!" Mary shouted. "He's gone! We have to find him!"
"Mary, calm down," John said, taking the basket from her hands and placing it on the ground. He places his hands on either side of her face and wiped away her tears. "Breathe, it's okay."
"My baby," Mary said as she started hyperventilating.
"Is in the office with Angie," John smirked. "He wandered up about five minutes ago."
"He's here?" Mary said trying to even out here breathing.
"Yes," John nodded. "Dean's here. He's fine. It's okay. He's not gone."
"He's here," Mary repeated starting to breathe normal again. "He's not gone."
"No," John answered pressing his forehead to her's. "He's here. It'll be okay. No one took him."
"Where is he?" Mary asked softly.
"Up in Angie's office," John replied. "Go ahead."
"You take Sammy?"
John took Sam out of his baby backpack. Mary tossed it on the ground then took off running toward the building.
The door to Angie's office flew open without warning, revealing a frantic looking Mary rushing toward Dean. She scooped him out of the chair and held him as close as she could.
"Hi," Dean said.
"Never do that to me again," Mary scowled.
"What did I do?" Dean asked innocently.
Mary pushed away so she could look Dean right in the eye. "Never run away from me while we're walking somewhere every again. I thought someone stole you."
"Nope," Dean shrugged. "I just goed to Daddy."
"You have no idea how much you scared me," Mary continued. "Never ever do that to me or Daddy or anyone else ever again. You stay where I can see you always. I don't know what I would do if I lost you."
"I didn't get lost," Dean said pressing his eyebrows together. "I knowed where I was. We goed here all the time."
"Just promise you won't run off again," Mary sighed. "Promise me."
"Pinkie promise!" Dean said holding out his hand. "I'll show you." Dean took his mom's hand and extended her pinkie then wrapped his around it. "I promise not to run away again. You can't break pink promises. Elizabeth telled me all about it."
"Good," Mary smiled.
"Where's the picnic?" Dean asked. "I'm getting hungry."
"Daddy has it," Mary answered. "You wanna go get it?"
"Yes please," Dean nodded. " I don't want to have to sit in here anymore. I don't think Angela likes me."
Mary carried Dean out of the office and down the stairs, out to where John and Sam had already set up the picnic at the table where the guys in the garage usually took their smoke breaks.
"I like it when you carry me," Dean said pressing his face into Mary's neck.
"I know, baby," Mary answered. "But you're getting too big for me to carry you." She placed him down on the bench and took her seat next to him.
"See everything's gonna be just fine," John smiled as he reached into the basket to pull out lunch.
"Does this mean you're gonna come home with us?" Dean asked excitedly. "So I don't have to live here?"
"You were never going to live here, Dean," John said shaking his head.
"I said I was gonna live with you cuz Momma's too mean to me," Dean nodded. "But if you come home, then when Momma is mean to be, I can just go to you and you can fix it. Like today when I ran away and then Momma comed to you and then when I seed after she was nice again."
"I have missed you, kiddo," John said shaking his head. "I would love to spend two minutes in that head of yours."
"I missed you too!" Dean said as he bounced on the bench while Mary unwrapped his sandwich.
"Do you want PB and J or roast beef?" Mary asked.
"Is it grape jelly?" Dean asked.
"Do you like any other kind of jelly?" Mary replied.
"No," Dean answered.
"Then why would I make a sandwich with a different jelly?"
"To trick me," Dean said. "You trick me to eating vegetables all the time."
"Do you want a jelly sandwich or a meat sandwich?" Mary repeated.
"Peanut butter and jelly," Dean smiled. "That's my favorite."
"Crustless roast beef sandwich?" Mary asked offering it to her husband.
"I would love it," John smiled. "Thank you."
"I'm sorry," Mary said when their eyes locked across the table. "I am so sorry."
"You got nothing to be sorry for," John said shaking his head. "Absolutely nothing."
"We can fix it," Mary nodded, clearly trying to hide her tears.
"It didn't break," John reassured her, shaking his head. "I… oh Mary… I wish there was something I could do to take back the last couple days. I need you. I need you and the boys more that I've ever needed anything. I screwed this up. You don't deserve it. I don't deserve you. You're something from heaven I swear."
"So we can get passed this?" Mary asked. "We can be a family again?"
"Yeah," John smiled. "If you'll have me."
"If you don't move back home, then I'm gonna marry Momma," Dean said. "I'll steal her away."
"I think you're going to have to wait a little bit before you steal her away, kiddo," John smirked.
Mary looked down at Dean and started to play with his hair. "So you'll be home for dinner?"
"I gotta finish Harrison's car," John said honestly. "He's picking it up tomorrow and I've still got a bit to do on it. Harrison doesn't want the kids working on it. No promises, but I'll be sleeping there tonight."
"You'll say goodnight to me!" Dean smiled.
"Of course," John replied. "I'm never gonna miss saying goodnight again. I swear."
The little family sat and ate their lunch while Mary filled in John on the excitement that happened while he was away. John watched his little boy stuffing his face with pretzels and sandwich and promised himself he'd never let that kid down again. Those three days alone, as much as he thought he needed them, were the worst three days he'd had since he was overseas. Nothing hurt more than seeing that hurt on Dean's face. Never again, he swore, never again.