Cross To Bear

4 Years-Old: Sam Winchester

Four Years Later…

"Castiel! I have told you time and time again – do NOT colour on that, that is not your colouring book!" John shouted as he tried to sift through his accounting papers, all with crayon doodles and silly little faces.

A dark haired head peered around the dining room entrance, bright blue blinking sheepishly at him. John wouldn't have minded so much if he weren't being audited from the last years' taxes, and Mary wasn't due any day. But he was, and she was 9 months pregnant with a late baby so his temper was thin. Cas looked down shyly and fidgeted with his hands behind his back, "I'm sorry daddy," he muttered as he wandered forward, "I thought you were sad 'cuz of them." He muddled his words in the sentence but John managed to make it out just fine. Castiel glanced up at him and with one look his dad realized just how harsh he was being. "I wanted to draw you pictures daddy, with smiles so they would make you happy."

"Cas," John sighed and put the papers down, kneeling so he could be a little more level with his kid, "I'm sorry buddy, c'mere." He opened his arms to Cas' tiny hug; the boy crawled into his arms and clung there. "You're so right, I did need more smiley faces on those papers."

Cas grinned and nuzzled his dad's funny smelling shirt, "I love you daddy."

"I love you too, Cas."

In the living room Mary was settled on the couch, her belly protruding like her very own, personal backwards-camel hump. Dean was playing with toy soldiers next to and on her, making all the necessary explosion and gunfire sounds. He pressed them up her side fairly gently as he muttered the storyline, something about having to climb a mountain. It was fine for the first fifteen minutes but soon an uncomfortable wriggling and pressure made her wince. Mary took a deep breath as the baby inside her reacted to Dean's jumping and tapping motions.

"Dean," She exhaled a little heavier as the baby's movement increased, "Sweet heart could you not play on mommy?"

Dean of course wasn't listening as his mind delved into the world of battles and wars and real soldiers. That ended abruptly when his mom let out a sharp cry. "Mommy?" His eyes were huge as she bit her lower lip and shook her head.

"Mommy's okay, just get your daddy." She instructed though John was already running into the room.

"Mary?" He asked frantically and looked at her pained expression, "Baby?"

Mary nodded with another deep breath, "Help me up, help me up." She insisted and John rushed across the room like he was made of air.

Dean moved out of the way, tears in his eyes because he didn't understand what was going on. A gentle hand touched his shoulder and he looked over at his brother's smiling face, "Cas? What's happening?"

"I don't know, I think it's okay though." Castiel reassured him with a hug and Dean took it for what it was.

The boys ended up with family friends, Bobby and Karen Singer were more than happy to help. Bobby had no idea what to do but Karen was all over it. She had the two watching old movies first, colouring books and crayons at the ready for them, which Castiel happily attempted. Dean loved the movies, something about watching the Titanic over and over again really made his day. Not that he watched the whole thing of course, the only part Dean cared to see was the second VHS tape where all the action happened.

Dean watched in horrified and excited awe as the giant ship groaned and creaked, as it broke apart. "Cas draw that!"

"I can try." Castiel replied casually as he munched on the plate of snacks in front of them. Bobby had gotten a bunch of crackers, cheese and cold cut meats together for them. The couple sat at the kitchen table and watched the boys with smiles, it was nice to babysit.

What Cas ended up drawing was indefinitely what you'd expect from a four year old but Dean appreciated it all the same. He couldn't draw after all, so it was pretty cool to get it in the first place. Dean put the paper down and looked at it quietly, "Can you draw mommy?"

Castiel didn't even have to look up from his scribbling to nod his head, of course he would.

"Your mom's going to be fine, Dean." Bobby walked into the room and sat down on the floor with the boys, "You'll see."

Dean looked at him but Bobby could tell it was skeptical, like he was just saying things to make him feel better.

"He's right," Cas agreed softly and the look of faith in Dean's eyes almost made Bobby question Dean's priorities. Castiel had more credit with that sort of thing than he did, apparently. "Mommy will be fine, I promise."

Dean smiled a little and nodded, "Okay."

Bobby took his leave back to the kitchen and looked at Karen with a shrug, "He's worried about his mom."

"Of course he is, but he'll find out it's nothing to be so concerned about." She smiled and looked at the little Winchesters.

"I suppose," Bobby sat down next to her and followed her gaze for a short while, "Have you noticed them?"

"The boys?"

"Yeah, Dean's pretty normal, a bit protective but normal. Cas though is such a little spazz."

Karen laughed softly and nodded, "He is, I'll give you that one. What're you getting at?"

Bobby shrugged again, "Well that one cries when he doesn't get the right candy that he wanted but put him in a real distressing situation and bam! He's suddenly cool as a cucumber."

"That's just his nature," She turned her gaze on Cas as the boy drew away, "Dean will protect Castiel from every little thing he can and Cas will return every small favour with one big one."

"Seems complicated for a kid."

"It is." She assured him though it didn't make him feel any less silly for thinking a child complex.

Dean and Castiel were well fed when bedtime came around; Karen herded them through brushing their teeth and using the toilet before getting them into pajamas. Dean crawled under the covers first and since there was only one guest bed Cas had to join him. They cozied up easily enough

The phone rang as Karen was coming back from putting the boys to bed, she grabbed it as she passed by and used her shoulder to keep it to her ear. "Hello, Singer residence."

"Hey Karen, it's John,"

"Oooh you sound pretty happy, how'd everything go?"

"It's good, I wanted to let you know that Mary's fine and we have a new baby boy."

"What a proud father you must be," Karen sighed with a smile and looked to Bobby as she mouthed 'it's a boy' to him. "What'd you name him?"

"Samuel, named for his grandfather."

"He already sounds lovely, I suppose you'll want your other boys to know."

"Can I talk to them?"

Karen glanced down the hall and shook her head despite knowing John couldn't see her, "I just put them to bed."

"It's alright then, we'll let them know in the morning. Thanks again for looking after them, hope it wasn't too much trouble."

"No problem, John. We're more than happy to see them."

"Alright well I'll come by in the morning to pick them up."

"Sounds good, see you later." She hung the phone up and sat down next to her husband, "Named him Samuel, I bet he's adorable."

Bobby nodded and started to get up, "Better tell 'em."

"Don't, they just got to bed!" She protested in a harsh whisper.

"Dean's been doin' nothing but worry about his mom, I get the feelin' he won't be sleepin'." Bobby walked down the hall and to the guest room. When he peered inside he saw Dean curled around Cas with his face buried into his brother's hair. He paused and watched them for a second or two and realized they were sleeping just fine. "Well I'll be damned," He smirked and quietly clicked the door shut again, "Alright," he went back to the table with a huff, "You were right."

She didn't rub it in, only kissed his cheek and went to wash the dishes. Bobby smiled and walked to her side, drying and putting everything away.

In the other room Cas and Dean lie quietly, sleep closing in on them easily but not quite there yet. "Dean," Castiel whispered as he nudged his brother, "Dean are you awake?"

"What?" Dean mumbled and moved back from Cas' head, "Nightmare already?"

"No, not that." Cas smiled and shook his head, "Do you feel that?"

Dean frowned and shook his head, "Feel what?"

"I can feel something, it's tingly."


Cas thought for a second and shrugged, "I don't know, it feels like all of my skin."

Dean sat up and pulled the blankets away, there wasn't anything touching Cas. "What kind of tingly? Like your foot fell asleep?"

"No… no it feels more like…" he looked up at Dean as he considered it, "like you."

"Like me? Cas you're tired, go to sleep." Dean pulled the blanket back up and dropped it over Castiel like that'd solve his problem of being woken up.

Cas didn't say anything more about it and crawled in close to Dean again. It was familiar and friendly, he wasn't scared but it was nice to have Dean so close.

In the morning at breakfast there was a knock at the door. Dean's gaze snapped up from his pancakes and he looked at Castiel whose eyes were just as big. They had a hunch but they waited as Bobby went to answer the door, both boys patient and quiet until they heard a familiar voice. "Daddy!" They cried and as they leapt from their chairs, scrambling to the door.

"Hey boys," John smiled and scooped them both up, one on each arm. "How was your stay with Bobby and Karen?"

"Good, where's mommy?" Dean was quick to the important details, his face bright and hopeful.

"Mommy's resting, did you want to go see her?"

"Yes!" Cas squeaked, "Is the baby okay?"

"Yeah, and you know what?" John got all quiet, making his kids lean in close to hear. Both shook their heads, no they didn't know. "The baby came out, did you want to meet him too?"

Dean sat with his mouth slack, shock and excitement trying to get dominance in him. Castiel on the other hand was squealing with joy, "Yes, yes, yes, yes! What's the baby's name? Can I talk to him? Wait you said him or did you say her? Oh oh oh! Do we have a sister?"

"Hope not." Dean pouted and John laughed.

"No I said him, you have a little brother named Sammy." He knew he couldn't just go so he brought the boys back to the table, "First finish your breakfast and then we'll go."

"Okay," Dean hopped into his chair again as soon as they were put down. Castiel was a little more awkward than that, he pulled himself onto his stomach and tried to wriggle to an upright position from there. John looked over at the Singers' with a tired smile.

"Thanks again for getting the boys, I can't imagine sitting with them all night at the hospital."

"No problem," Bobby chuckled and shared a look with his wife, "We enjoyed it."

"They're angels," Karen sighed as she helped Castiel sit up properly. She pinched his cheek gently and looked back at John, "Congratulations on the new one, you have everything you need for him?"

"Of course, we had two others four years ago and I haven't been around to cleaning any of the old stuff up," John laughed at himself.

"That sounds familiar," Bobby grinned and Karen gave him a look.

"You don't have the excuse of having two young boys running around."

"That's fair," he raised his hands in defeat.

Soon enough John got his kids to the hospital to meet Mary, he held each by the hand as he walked through the halls. John wasn't about to let his kids roam free, especially not with their excitement so high. Both boys tugged him along eagerly, yanking relentlessly until he picked up the pace.

"C'mon daddy!" Dean tried to usher him faster but John wouldn't budge, stopping completely and grinning at the tiny struggle in front of him.

"We're here," He laughed and nodded toward the door he'd stopped in front of. Dean and Cas immediately let go of their dad and pushed into the room, rushing to Mary's bedside.

"Mommy!" Dean tried to crawl into the bed, slipping a little but ultimately keeping his balance, "I thought you were dying!" He shouted and was promptly shushed.

"Dean sweetie it's okay," Mary reassured him softly and kissed his cheek with a bit of a giggle, "I'm fine."

"Where's Sammy?" Cas popped up beside her, not even about to attempt to sit in bed with them. John rewarded this by scooping him up and sitting him down on his lap at Mary's bedside.

"Sammy's getting a check up, and once he's good we'll go home." Mary reached over and ruffled the dark hair of her son.

"When?" Dean piped in just as the door opened, a nurse walked in carrying a soft little bundle in her arms.

"Right now," John smirked and looked at the nurse, "How is he?"

"Perfect health," She smiled back and lowered the infant into Mary's waiting arms, "Little Sammy is good to go."

Dean and Castiel leaned over to look at their baby brother, Dean's face lit up while Cas' scrunched a bit.

"He's so tiny!" Dean cried excitedly, poking gently at Sammy's face.

"He's so weird looking, why's he making that face?" Cas squinted his eyes and tilted his head thinking maybe it was the angle. Nope, stilly funny looking.

"Dean don't poke your brother," John warned, "Cas, he's not weird looking he's a newborn. New babies always look like that."

"So we're keeping him?" Big green eyes shot up to look at John hopefully, quickly switching between him and Mary.

"Of course," Mary laughed and gently brushed her hand by Sammy's face. The infant had been stirring from all the noise and soon whined himself into a full cry, little arms flailing in that uncontrolled way babies did.

Dean covered his ears and promptly moved away from the sound, hopping off the bed. "Shut up, Sammy!"

Castiel climbed off of John and moved closer to his baby brother, reaching up and taking his tiny hand, "Shh," he hushed so softly and little Sammy slowed down to stop and look at the smiling face above him. "It's okay, Sammy." Cas leaned over and kissed the infant's cheek, "Welcome to our family."

John and Mary exchanged glanced, both surprised all over again. "He's gotta be a day care worker when he grows up." John joked, shaking his head.

Dean dared get close again and smiled at the now peaceful baby resting and blinking up at them. "I like him," Dean proclaimed proudly and nodded his head.

"I do too," Cas smiled bright and wiggled his fingers above Sam's head.

"Good, because he's staying regardless." John raised an eyebrow at his boys, his mouth in what felt like a permanent smile. He loved his kids.

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