Charlie had been with the Winchester’s for several days. She was staying in the Men of Letters bunker and was helping them get the computer reprogrammed and to help archive items. She would do some research on items while Sam categorized them and gave a brief description on their use and history. Kevin was at the other end of the table working on the tablet. He had his headphones in and was glued to the tablet and his notes. So when she asked to help him he gladly accepted her assistance.
Doing it this way would take less time and also provided Sam with someone to talk to and to get excited over items with as well. Especially when they found items that were related to myths and legends. One that they came across was a Unicorns horn. Sam stared in shock for a moment and then laughed. “He knew it” Sam said as he placed the item on the table. “Who knew it?” Charlie asked. “Dean, he knew Unicorns were real. Go figure, he believed in things like this before he believed in Angels” Sam smiled again and began to write up on the item.
It had been getting late and Dean was just finishing up making dinner for everyone. As everyone sat and ate Sam and Charlie brought up some of the items they had found in the bunker so far. Charlie mentioned the Unicorn horn and Dean looked up, mid motion of lifting his fork to his face and looked at Sam, “I knew it” he finished by bringing his fork to his mouth and chewing forcefully. Sam laughed at his brother’s actions. “See told you, he knew it”.
It was late in the evening and Charlie was sitting in one of the lounge rooms where the boys had set it up to be like a living room. Thy had couches, chairs and a television. So they had decided to sit down and watch some television together. Charlie had seen that there was a marathon on G4 about a certain genre of video games. So she begged and pleaded and once she got the ok she ran to make popcorn and got blankets. “What? I’ve always wanted to do a late night marathon with friends” Charlie said at the looks that she got from the others. Sam smiled and helped her get the supplies. Kevin had the tablet out and was starting to work on it again. “Hey, no none of that ok, now it’s time to relax that brain of yours and just not think” Dean said as he removed the tablet from Kevin’s hands. “You said…” Kevin was about to use Dean’s words against him when he was cut off. “I know what I said but listen to what I’m saying now. You did it this way before and you lost your marbles ok. So now we try it our way. You take a break and try to do something normal ok” Dean said as he handed him a blanket and a bottle of soda. “So get comfy and have some fun” Dean said as he took a swig from his own bottle. Kevin smiled and popped open his bottle and took some as well.
They were in to the second hour of the marathon when Sam noticed Dean was yawning and getting tired. They had recently been on a hunt that went from bad to worse in a matter of moments. They thought they had the one pinned down when suddenly a secondary one came out. This was not in the creatures typical behavior so they were not expecting this. It seems though that all the extra Demon and Angel activity spooked them and had them coming together in groups. It had been exhausting trying to kill both of them, burning the bodies and then the long drive home. Dean had been letting Sam sleep in the car to rest both himself and Zeke. So now that there was some down time it was catching up to him.
Charlie was sitting on the couch watching the marathon and looking at Dean. She noticed him getting tired and decided this was a chance for her to do something nice for him. Earlier in the week he had set up a room for her and made sure she had a nice bed, empty dresser and some artifacts he knew she would like in the room. It was home away from home. She had loved it so much she was trying to find ways to pay him back. One way was for him to be her cuddle buddy. “So Dean” Charlie said to Dean as he was yawning again. “There is always something I have wanted to have” Dean looked at her and raised an eyebrow. “That would be?” Dean asked as he encouraged her to continue. “I want a cuddle buddy” she waited for his reaction and upon seeing his brows shoot up decided to explain. “You know how some people like to do the cuddling while others preferred to be cuddled? Well people get together and become cuddle buddies. There is nothing else than just cuddling or being cuddled” Charlie finished and watched as Dean looked at Sam and Kevin for a moment. “Sounds right up your alley Dean. You do wuv hugz” Sam said with a smile on his face and a small chuckle. Dean gave him a glare and heard Kevin laugh as well. “It’s true, you do hug a lot” Kevin added. “You’re both very funny” Dean said as he fixed his blanket. “Whatever, if it’s what you want”.
Charlie smiled as she grabbed his arm and guided him over to her. Charlie had her back to the arm rest on the couch and Dean’s back to her chest. He had his head resting just under her chin. He wouldn’t admit it but, it was comfortable. The extra warmth reminded him of how tired he really was. He felt a hand in his hair, combing through it against the flow. “What are you doing?” Dean asked. “You have very soft looking hair and I wanted to touch it” Charlie said as she continued playing with his hair. She had gone from playing with his hair to scratching his head and running her fingers gently against his scalp. Again Dean wouldn’t admit it but, he was enjoying this. Her pattern would change from scratching to rubbing and then back to playing with his hair. He didn’t know when but, at some point he had closed his eyes and his breathing slowed. He was starting to fall asleep and at this point he was so relaxed and exhausted he didn’t care.
He knew who was around him and that he could trust them and the place he was in was safe. Usually he never slept past 4 hours mostly from the fact that the place they were in was unsafe. Sometimes it was the hunt they were on that had him on edge. Other times it was the place they were staying in. Tonight he was relaxed and felt at home. Charlie had looked down and saw that Dean had his eyes closed. She smiled at the look he had on his face. She was happy to see him so relaxed but, she also saw the trust that was there. She remembered reading the books and how little Dean trusted anyone. The way he was described he saw everyone and everything as a threat. He would sleep with one eye open and with a knife underneath his pillow, a shotgun under the bed and a bottle of holy water as well. He would be ready for anything to come his way. That was part of the series that always had her feeling the most for Dean.
While Sam could blend in with society and pretend to be normal, Dean could never shut off the hunter side of him. She had read some of the sections over again about Dean’s childhood and could see more and more of those experiences shaping him to who he is today. So to see him settling into her and actually sleeping was a shock to her. She knew she needed to do this with him more often. Sam had looked over and had seen Dean settling into Charlie, making himself more comfortable. Sam honestly thought Dean would have gotten over it or changed his mind only seconds after being in that position. He hadn’t seen any movement and decided to go back to the marathon.
He had dozed off himself and when he looked over at Charlie and Dean he was surprised to see him asleep. He had settled into Charlie more and was sound asleep. He could see Charlie’s hand running through his hair still and knew the reason why he was asleep. Sam and Dean had a regular weekend with Bobby and their father a long time ago. During that time John had started playing with Dean’s hair and within minutes he was fast asleep. John had said to Sam “your mother used to love having her hair played with, it would relax her and put her to sleep”. Apparently Dean had inherited that trait and John had seen Mary do it with Dean once as well. “She had been sitting on the couch with his head on her shoulder, he had a bad chest infection which brought on a horrible cough. He couldn’t lay flat and that was how he usually slept. So add it all up of a sick three year old, uncomfortable and exhausted and you had a tantrum that lasted well into the night. So Mary brought him out into the living room and had him laying against her while she rubbed and patted his back. He still wouldn’t calm down so Mary had started running her fingers through his hair. She kept him on her shoulder all night and would start running her fingers through his hair when he got fussy and restless” John had been smiling the whole time he recounted the story.
It was one of those times where he had felt so helpless. He had tried to calm his son but, he didn’t know how to. He had sat in the rocking chair in his room with his son in his lap for hours. He would settle and then a coughing fit would set off the tantrum again. “I know kiddo, you feel like crap and you can’t be comfortable. You got to try to settle down buddy”. Nothing John said was helping and he was getting frustrated. The tears kept coming and so did the coughing. “It wasn’t until Mary came in and took him that I had remembered what silence had sounded like. The kid had slept like a rock that night and Mary barely got any sleep but, she seemed to be so happy just sitting there with her child in her arms. Providing this comfort that no one else could”.
Sam had never seen Dean in a deep sleep. Dean was always ready to protect his brother from the next attack, the next creature or anything that was out there. Yet here he was no weapons on him and he was sound asleep. He always remembered Dean’s nightly routine when they met back up after Jessica’s death and the hunt for their father began. Dean would salt the doors and windows, double check all the locks. Then he would make a container of holy water which would go under the bed along with a shotgun. Dean would then take one of his sharpest knives and place it under the pillow. All of this was done after he chose the bed closest to the door so he would be the first defense against anything that managed to find it‘s way in. Later on he added on Devil’s traps and then Angel sigils. To see Dean at ease with being so defenseless and actually trusting all of them that were there around him was refreshing.
Sometimes Dean got it in his head that he had to go at this alone. Granted some of that did stem from the time he left them for Stanford and left Dean with their dad. Who he had learned from Bobby, had left Dean alone for months at a time. At times he would contact Dean with more coordinates or some cryptic message and Dean the loyal son would follow them. He would hop into the impala and go wherever his father sent him. Sometimes it was Dean who would look for the hunt and take care of it on his own. So naturally Dean got used to that which wasn’t by choice. Some also came from some of the choices Sam had made. Some he made when Dean wasn’t around because he was in Hell. Some he made after that as well that put Dean in a position where he couldn’t trust his own brother. Sam hated those times and knew the only thing to do would be to move on.
Kevin didn’t know the Winchester’s as well as some others did however, when Demons and monsters heard their names, you could see this terror descend on their faces. Something that everyone learned was not to underestimate them. He didn’t mind staying at Garth’s boat but staying here with them made him feel at home. He had seen them in action and knew how tough they could be. Sometimes they almost seemed ruthless but, he knew that they had their lives destroyed by these Demons. He was used to seeing Dean plotting and moving around. Rarely did he see Dean sleep or relax. It almost seemed out of character for him to be so still.
Charlie had Dean on her for most of the marathon, he had stayed asleep through most of it. She was happy just having him there and being able to give back to him some of the comfort he brought to her when he saved her from Dick Roman, the knight who tried to kill her with fairy magic, the Djinn dream and now providing her with a room. She had shifted Dean a little and had unintentionally woke him up. “Wha..” Dean said as he woke up. “Sorry Dean, just needed to shift a bit. You doing ok?” Charlie asked as she brought her hand to his hair and smoothed it out. She had made it stick up in all sorts of directions. He nodded as he settled back against her. “You ready for bed?” Charlie asked as she continued to smooth out and play with his hair. “Yeah, I’m beat” Dean said as he yawned and stretched. Charlie didn’t have the heart to actually make him get up and move. His eyes kept closing and he kept settling in. He was exhausted and needed to sleep more than 4 hours or just a cuddle nap. “So, does this mean you’ll be my cuddle buddy?” Charlie asked as he dozed off. “Yeah, your actually really comfortable” Dean said as he snuggled into her.
Charlie hadn’t remembered feeling at home since she was a little girl. She looked around her at Sam and Kevin who had fallen asleep on the couch. Kevin’s head was on Sam’s lap who had his head back and mouth open. Both were sound asleep and she smiled as she realized, ‘I’m at home with my family’.