I sighed and rubbed a hand over my face as we drove through the open gates. I watched the grass and stones pass by the window as Dean drove slowly down the small path. There were several cars lined up against the curb in front of us. Dean pulled the Impala up behind a rusty, pick-up truck and parked.
I waited a couple of seconds before opening the door, getting out and shutting it softly behind me. I stood there for a few seconds and just looked around. About twenty feet in front of me I watched as people, dressed in black gathered around the closed casket.
I could see Bobby standing next to Ellen, who had a little boy by her side. I heard a while back from Bobby that Jo had a kid…that must be him. I swallowed hard and started to move in their direction. After a few steps I realized Dean was not by my side.
I turned and looked back toward the car. I shook my head. He was still sitting in the driver’s seat with his hands clenched around the wheel. I sighed and walked back toward the car. I placed one hand on the roof of the car and bent down so he could see my face through his window.
He didn’t turn in my direction so I spoke in a soft voice trying to convey to him that I understood how much this hurt.
“Dean, we’re already running a little late. We need to get up there.”
He didn’t turn his head to face me, but he spoke in a deep voice filled with tension.
“I’m good here Sammy.”
I frowned. I knew when Bobby called us two days ago that this was going to be hard, but I didn’t think he’d be this resistant. I know to most people it might not have seemed like it, but Dean cared about Jo…maybe more than he’s ever cared about anyone…and that’s why he let her go.
I laughed as Dean whispered something about Ellen being scary. I watched as Jo followed Ellen inside and then I turned to face Dean. He was leaning against the Impala cleaning under his nails with a knife. He must have felt my eyes on him because he looked up and raised an eyebrow.
“You going to tell me what happened back there?”
He looked back down and grunted.
“What are you talkin about Sammy?”
“Don’t give me that. You know what I’m talking about Dean. What happened with you and Jo?”
He stayed quiet and I moved over and leaned against the Impala next to him. I stayed silent for a few minutes before Dean turned his head slightly and glared in my direction. I grinned and spoke in an innocent tone.
“Well come on then…lets have it.”
He put the knife away and I turned so I was angled toward him.
“Dean, what is going on between you two?”
“Alright, so maybe we got a little bit more involved the other day than I said.”
I nodded. That was obvious. My voice came out sarcastic.
“Oh, ok. Yeah.”
He rolled his eyes.
“Okay, a lot more…Maybe.”
I laughed, he shrugged and continued.
“She knows our secret, about what we do, and she isn’t just okay with it, but she hunts too. She’s a good girl Sammy…so we talked…I let her in…and then...well…”
He trailed off and I could tell he was uncomfortable so I cut in.
“No, look, man, everybody’s gotta open up to someone, sometime.”
He nodded and scratched the back of his head.
“Yeah, I don’t. It’s usually stupid to get that close, especially with what we do, but I dunno…she’s different Sammy…”
He trailed off again and I smiled. He caught the look and made a face.
“Would you stop? Blink or something.”
I was stunned. My eyes widened and I know there was awe in my voice when I spoke.
“You could love her.”
He pushed himself away from the car and looked appalled. He covered his face and his voice cracked as he shook his head. His voice came out in a groan.
I ignored his dramatics and kept going.
“You connected with her, did you sleep with her?”
He just looked at me and I stood there in shock.
“Oh, wow. So…what’s going to happen now? Are you going to keep seeing her?”
He looked away from me and crossed his arms over his chest. I stood still.
“Dean…oh my god you are, aren’t you? You’re going to keep seeing Jo…wow...”
Before either of us could say anything else a loud bang had our heads turning toward the front door to the Roadhouse. Jo came moving out and when she saw us she veered off path into the other direction. Dean pushed himself away from the car and followed her.
His voice was conversational when he spoke and he had to walk quickly to keep up with her. I watched the scene and frowned.
“That bad, huh?”
Her voice was tense when she spoke.
“Not right now.”
I heard Deans voice actually soften as he spoke to her.
He grabbed her shoulder gently and prodded her.
“Hey, talk to me.”
I watched her shove him away as she spoke louder then necessary.
“Get off me!”
For a second he seemed startled before I watched the shutters slam down as he closed himself off. His voice got hard and his jaw tensed.
“Sorry, see you around.”
He turned and started walking towards me. I saw her wince as she called out to him.
He stopped and faced her.
“It turns out my dad had a partner on his last hunt. Funny, he usually worked alone. This guy did, too. But I guess my father figured he could trust him…a mistake. Guy screwed up, got my dad killed.”
Oh no…I felt my stomach sink as I saw confusion on Dean’s face…
“What does this have to do…”
She cut him off and I could see pain in her eyes from where I stood a few feet away.
“It was your father, Dean.”
Her voice trailed off and I could see disbelief in his face. He didn’t want to believe her…because if that was true…then the one person he thought could understand him…love him…would be out of his reach…
“Why do you think John never came back, never told you about us? ‘Cause he couldn’t look my mom in the eye after that. That’s why.”
I watched Dean shake his head and reach out his arm toward her.
I could see the tears streaming down her face. Her voice cracked as she spoke.
“Just…just get out of here.”
He opened his mouth to say something, but she shook her head.
“Please, just leave.”
She turned around and walked away from him. I watched as he took a step toward her and then stopped himself. He stood there for what felt like hours before finally making his way back to the Impala. He walked right by me, took out the keys, got in the car and started it.
I followed him and got in. He took off down the road, not bothering to look back…
“Dean you can’t sit in the car during the service. You need to come out here…say goodbye…”
My voice trailed off and he finally looked at me. I could see him trying to hide the pain that was clearly written on his face. He unclenched his fists and I moved away from the door so he could open it and get out. He got out and I stood with him for a few seconds until we were spotted.
Bobby waved us over and we nodded in his direction as we walked across the street and to the sidewalk that led to the open grave. I could see people whispering to each other as Dean and I walked by. I’m pretty sure Dean was too caught up in his thoughts to notice.
I frowned and we finally made it over to Bobby and Ellen. Bobby came over and enveloped me into a hug. I held on and closed my eyes for a second.
“Sam…Dean…I’m glad you guys could make it.”
Bobby released me and I moved over to Ellen. She gave me a small smile that didn’t reach her eyes.
“Sam…it’s good to see you.”
I nodded and we hugged.
“I’m so sorry Ellen.”
When we pulled away from each other I could see the tears that had gathered in her eyes. I watched her hand come up and hastily swipe beneath her eyes before they could leak any further. I felt Dean’s hand on my shoulder as he made his way in front of Ellen.
I moved over and he stood in front of her for a few seconds before opening his mouth and then closing it again without saying anything. He shook his head, looked down and rubber the back of his neck. When he looked back up his voice came out gruff.
Ellen frowned glanced at Bobby who shrugged and then looked back at Dean. She reached out a hand and lifted his face so their eyes made contact.
“Dean…you ain’t got nothing to be sorry for.”
He looked away from her and I saw her frown get more pronounced.
“Dean Winchester, you listen here. This is not your fault. Jo was a grown woman and she was responsible for the choices she made.”
I watched him nod before he spoke.
“She called me…”
I raised an eyebrow at that as I watched him glance back at Ellen. He never told me that…and by the looks of it Bobby and Ellen didn’t know either. His voice broke the silence.
“Three days ago…she said…”
He hesitated before continuing.
“She said something was after her…that there was something important she needed to tell me before it was too late. I asked her where she was and told her to hang tight that Sam and I’d be there soon…”
His voice trailed off again and he glanced in the direction of the coffin. He turned back toward us and his eyes were red-rimmed.
“We were coming from Florida…we were more than halfway there when Sam got the call from Bobby…I’m sorry…I’m sorry we didn’t get there in time…”
He looked down, shook his head and gave a humorless chuckle. I was about to say something when he spoke again.
“I haven’t seen Jo in close to three years…and the one time she actually called me for help…the one time she was willing to see me…I let her down.”
Bobby looked at me and motioned toward Dean. I nodded and placed a hand on his shoulder, which he shrugged off. He looked at me and gave me a look.
“Stop it, I don’t want your pity Sammy. I already told you that. I’m fine.”
“No…leave it alone.”
Ellen moved between us and faced Dean. Her voice was soft when she spoke and I could hear the priest telling everyone they were about to start.
“I think I know what she wanted to tell you.”
This seemed to calm him slightly. He raised an eyebrow at Ellen and she took a deep breath, turned, bent down slightly and spoke to the little boy standing to the left of her. He took hold of her hand and moved so he was standing next to her in front of Dean.
I watched Dean glance at the boy curiously when the kid stuck out his hand and spoke. His voice was low and it seemed like it took a lot of energy for him to speak.
“Hi, my name is William.”
I watched as Dean shook the kids hand and nodded.
The small boy inclined his dark head of hair and gave another nod.
“I know. My moms got a few pictures of you.”
I could see a look of pain cross Deans face for a second before it was gone. Ellen interrupted their conversation and caught Dean’s eye.
“This is Jo’s son.”
“I heard she had a kid…I called to see how she was doing afterward…say congratulations…but she never answered my calls.”
“It was probably hard for her at the time. Dean…”
She trailed off and Dean just stood there looking at William as he waited for her to continue. She sighed before placing an arm around William as she spoke.
“His name is William John Winchester.”
His eyes widened and flew up to meet hers. My mouth dropped open and I heard Bobby in the background.
I watched Dean open and close his mouth, but nothing came out. He kept looking back and forth between Ellen and William. What felt like hours later, but was probably only a few minutes Dean spoke.
“He’s your son Dean…”
There was confusion on his face.
“I have a son?”
The priest took that moment to open the book and start the ceremony. I watched as Dean stood there not knowing what to do. After a minute or so he turned and faced the priest but I could tell his thoughts were anywhere but on the words the priest was saying.
All these years he’s spent waiting for Jo to forgive him for our fathers mistakes…and it never made sense why even after she accepted his apology she’d never agree to let him see her…until now…Dean has a son…and I thought this trip was only going to bring Dean pain…maybe now it will give him something more…