Author Topic: A Very Winchester Christmas  (Read 1636 times)

Dean Winchester

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A Very Winchester Christmas
« on: January 01, 2020, 05:21:34 PM »
Domesticity had always been something of a pipe dream for Dean Winchester. And yet, in the last few years, he had been blessed with little supernatural activity, allowed the peace to raise his children and make his house a home without interference from the new gods and old monsters that still proliferated the world. With the Olympians focused on consolidating their power after two thousand years in exile, nothing wanted to poke its head above the water, just in case it got a lightning bolt up the fundament.

So the Winchesters got to watch their children grow from babies to toddlers to children, and finally to be able to celebrate Christmas without too much in the way of destruction of the decorations and presents. Bertie was now an energetic six year old, and Hope and Anna not far behind him at five; add their six year old cousin, Alexandros, into the mix, and they were a very happy little bunch as Christmas Eve rolled around in 2019.

The kids were just about the right age for a visit from Santa Claus, though six-year-old Alex was starting to have his doubts, especially since he had an Olympian for a father. Whether they knew it was really Bobby wearing the red velvet suit or not, none of the children dared say, though a mumbled "Idjit" to Dean might have given him away. Whether the children knew or not, the visit had left them excited for Christmas morning, when they'd wake up to goodies in their stockings and presents under the tree.

Jo and Dean had, rather rashly, offered to host Christmas at their house this year, which meant they had a pair of Olympians in the spare bedroom, Ellen and Bobby in the study, and Sam and Becky on the couch. It was going to be a happy, but crowded, Christmas Day, that was for sure. But for a few hours, between midnight and around 4am, not a creature was stirring. All was well; peace on earth. And then, at exactly 4:07 am ... someone small and over-excited blew hard into a kazoo.

Jo groaned, rolling over to smack her husband lightly with her palm. "I told you nothing noisy," she grumbled, still half-asleep.

Dean pulled a pillow over his head in a vain attempt to muffle the annoying sound of the kazoo. He'd only turned in a few hours ago after putting together a pair of bikes for the twins and was nowhere near ready to get out of bed yet. "Don't blame me. I told them no one was allowed up until the sun came up."

"Maybe we shouldn't have put them all in the same room," Jo mumbled, pressing herself down underneath her own pillow in an attempt to block out the sound. Another kazoo joined the first, together with a familiar set of high-pitched giggles.

Dean winced, not so much at the giggles, as at the kazoo. "Whoever brought the kazoos is gonna get a good thrashing," he grumbled, without knowing who the guilty party might be. He sighed, looking over at Jo from beneath the cover of pillows and blankets. "Whose idea was this, anyway?"

"I think it was collective madness," she mused in a gravelly tone, blinking at him in their cocoon of covers. "Sam and Becky are the ones who'll get the full force of the kids first, with any luck."

"Sam and Becky are probably the ones who handed out the kazoos," Dean reasoned. After all, Sam and Becky didn't have kids yet and either didn't care or didn't realize that the kids would probably wake up before dawn to take a sneak peek at their presents. "It would serve them right to have to deal with the little rug rats this early in the morning."

Jo snorted with laughter, wriggling a little closer under the blankets. "We're probably not going back to sleep again, you know," she murmured. "But I'm not getting out of bed until at least half past 6."

"I am not getting up at ..." Dean trailed off, reaching for his cell phone to check the time and muttering a string of expletives when he saw what time it was. "You know what we should do?" he asked her, an evil smile on his face. "Wait until they're all asleep later and make some noise of our own."

She laughed quietly, reaching over to prod at his stomach. "Like you're going to be able to do anything but sleep by then," she pointed out. Christmas was always a little nuts in their house.

"I'm sure I could manage to do something," Dean replied, waggling his brows at her in the dark, though she probably couldn't see the expression on his face.

"Is it too early in the morning to give you your first present?" she asked thoughtfully, rolling her eyes at the expression she was pretty sure he was aiming in her direction right now.

"Depends on what that present is," he said, the smirk heard in his voice, even if she couldn't see it. He wasn't sure what she had in mind, but his thoughts had already gone to that of more carnal nature.

"Like I wasn't expecting that reaction," she drawled, laughing quietly at his one-track mind. Mind you, she had the same problem on occasion. "But I guess it's kind of in the same vein?"

Dean furrowed his brows, his wife's response confusing him further. "So, what ... You got me a virility charm?" he asked. "Thoughtful, but I don't really need one, you know," he pointed out, that smirk heard in his voice again.

"Oh, believe me, I know that," she assured him, nestling closer until her nose touched his. "Your little dudes are definitely firing on all cylinders. The proof's going to be arriving around June."

He snickered at her remark, before falling dead silent as he realized what it was she was telling. "Wait ..." he said, furrowing his brows. "Are you ... You're not ... Again?" he said, incredulously.

She giggled at his reaction, kissing the tip of his nose. "Looks like Johnny really wants to join the family," she told him. And with luck, he would be the last addition from them.

"Really? Seriously?" he asked, forgetting it was just after four a.m., forgetting there were kazoos playing in the background, forgetting he hadn't gotten more than a couple of hours sleep. He jerked upright in bed, tossing off the blankets and the pillows and turning to face her. "You're pregnant?!"

"Dean!" Startled to find herself outside their warm little cocoon, Jo rolled onto her back, looking up at him with amused indignation. "Yes, I'm pregnant!" she confirmed with a laugh. "About two months gone."

Dean flopped down beside her, half covering her with his body so that he could meet her gaze, nose to nose. "Two months ... That means Johnny will be born in ... Julyish?" he asked, doing the math in his head. Or thereabouts. "Wait, how do you know for sure that it's a boy?"

« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 05:25:42 PM by Dean Winchester »
"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."

Dean Winchester

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Re: A Very Winchester Christmas
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2020, 05:23:26 PM »
"End of June, I think," she said, curling her arms about him as he settled over her. "I don't know for sure it's a boy, but I'm assuming it is. It's definitely not twins again, that's for sure."

"I feel like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning," he told her, though he was far from being a cold-hearted old miser. "Should I dance around the room and wake everyone up?" he asked, a mischievous smirk on his face.

"I thought you'd appreciate knowing as a Christmas present," she grinned back at him, tightening her arms about his shoulders. "Now why would you do that when you've got this warm and willing wife right here in your arms, Ebenezer?"

Dean chuckled at his wife's question. "Warm and willing, eh? Do you want your Christmas goose now or later?" he asked, bumping his nose against hers. If he hadn't been wide awake a little while ago, he certainly was now.

Jo giggled up at him. "We should have a little celebration, don't you think?" she suggested. "We're owed a lie-in." An rather active lie-in, admittedly, but hey, there were enough adults in the house right now for them to take the next few hours off.

"You think?" he asked, the smirk on his face widening. Yes, it was Christmas morning, but it wasn't even light out yet, and Sam and Becky could deal with the kids. "I love you, Mrs. Scrooge," he told her, pressing a kiss against her lips.

"Oooh, Mr. Scrooge," she teased, rolling him onto his back to take advantage of both the early morning and the relative guarantee of no interruptions for just a little while.

He chuckled as she rolled him onto his back, perfectly happy to let her take the lead, if that was what she wanted. "Shall we talk about the first thing that pops up?" he asked, that smirk on his face again.

"Mmm, absolutely." Catching his lips in a slow kiss, Jo proceeded to start Dean's Christmas off with a bang, as it were, while their children played their kazoos and generally drove the rest of the adults mildly insane.

However, breakfast couldn't be put off forever, and by half past seven, everyone had started to congregate in the kitchen, showing off an interesting selection of festive pajamas.

Dean couldn't help that he had a permanent smirk on his face this morning. After all, he had not only just gotten laid, but he'd also found out he was going to be a father again. Christmas presents didn't get much better than that, at least as far as he was concerned. Once he and Jo actually did roll out of bed and make an appearance, they were both wearing smiles, despite the fact that they'd only gotten a few hours sleep. Dean was even humming Christmas songs to himself as he put the coffee on. For someone who hadn't gotten much sleep, he was looking suspiciously festive, even in his rumpled flannel pjs.

"It's almost offensive how awake you are," Becky commented as she shuffled into the kitchen. She didn't look particularly well rested, but then, she and Sam had been watching Christmas movies with the children since around 5. Jo chuckled at the sight of her, already laying out the bits to cook breakfast for too many people.

"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."

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Re: A Very Winchester Christmas
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2020, 05:23:47 PM »
"Oh, well ... Maybe someone shouldn't have put kazoos in their stockings," Dean remarked, a cheesy grin on his face, though he wasn't accusing anyone in particular. "Okay, everyone out of the kitchen!" he said, suddenly, with a shooing motion. "Mrs. Scrooge and I are making breakfast, and then we open presents!"

"Daddy ..." A small hand tugged on his pajama bottoms, drawing his attention down to Hope and Anna, who were smiling innocently up at him. "Can we have a drink?"

Becky rolled her eyes, obediently shuffling back out of the kitchen to go and help Sam with the boys.

"Of course you can, my little angels. What would you like? Orange juice? Chocky milk?" he asked, going down on one knee so that he was at eye level with his twin daughters.

"We can has chocky milk for bwekfast?" Anna asked, wide-eyed with amazement.

Hope, on the other hand, went straight for the kill. "Inna big mug wiv a straw?"

"In a big mug with a straw," Dean confirmed, an adoring smile on his face for his two little angels. "But ..." he said, lifting a finger to indicate there was a condition. There was always a but, after all. "You have to promise to eat at least one pancake each. Can you do that?"

Two identical heads nodded with emphatic certainty, bright-eyed with hope over getting chocolate milk for a drink before breakfast. Jo had to hide her face behind the fridge door for a moment - she'd thought Dean was a pushover for Bertie, but the girls had him so wrapped about their fingers, it was a wonder he could walk straight some days.

Almost as if sensing - or remembering - there was another parent in the kitchen, he looked around for Jo. "Is that okay, Mama?" he asked, as if he needed her permission before he could give the girls permission, but it was Christmas, after all. He didn't think it would hurt this once.

Schooling her expression, Jo leaned back to look over at the three of them, unable to keep from smiling back at them. "Well, it's a special occasion," she conceded. "Just one mug, then juice with breakfast."

"You heard Mommy. One mug and then pancakes and orange juice, okay?" he said, looking from one twin to the other. They were good girls, but they sure did know how to get what they wanted from their father.

"Yes, Daddy."

"Fank you, Daddy!"

Two little women pounced him happily for a moment and then stood back, waiting impatiently for their drinks to be handed to them.

Jo slid the carton along the counter for Dean with a grin. "So cute, Daddy," she teased.

Dean hugged his girls back before moving to his feet to concoct the chocolately beverage. He shrugged as he reached for the milk carton. "It's a gift," he told his wife with a wink, making no apologies for spoiling his daughters. Even now, it filled his heart with joy to hear his children call him "Daddy." It wasn't so long ago that he'd been convinced he'd never have children, until he'd gotten a glimpse of a very dim future and decided he needed to do something about it.

Jo snorted with laughter at the sight of two little noses and two sets of fingers peeking over the edge of the counter to watch Dean make the drinks. "You two are ridiculously adorable sometimes, you know that?" This got a giggle from the twins, but they were fixated on their special Christmas drink.

"They take after their mother," Dean told her. "Why don't you girls go ask Bertie and Alex if they'd like a glass, too," he suggested. It was only fair, after all, though he'd only just banished everyone from the kitchen.

Impatience warred with a desire to be obedient, but Anna was the first one to break.

"'kay, Daddy. C'mon, Hope."

She gripped her sister's hand and pulled her out of the kitchen. A moment later, the entire house heard Hope asking the question of the boys.

Dean grabbed two more glasses from the cupboard, chuckling as he overheard their daughter asking her question a little too loudly. "Do you remember Hope ever being that loud?" he asked, of the future form of that daughter they’d met some years before. Sam and Hope had come back in time to help their parents defeat Hades, but only Sam had stayed in that timeline.

"You know, that volume really doesn't surprise me," Jo admitted, pretty sure she had the right amount of breakfast meat out to start cooking. "What does surprise me is that Anna's the dominant one when she's the quiet one too."

"You think so?" he asked, as he stirred chocolate sauce into the first glass of milk. Thankfully, the mugs were child-size and not so big they'd spoil their breakfast.

"You watch them sometime when they're deciding what they want to do," Jo suggested with a grin. "Hope always folds if Anna insists." The clumping of small feet announced the approach of all four of the smalls in the hall outside the kitchen.

"Hmm, I hadn't noticed that," Dean said, though now that he thought about it, she was probably right. Before he could add anything to that, they were being interrupted by a small stampede of little feet coming to claim their "chocky milk". Dean chuckled, raising a hand to stop the herd of children in their tracks. "Slow down. Everybody take a seat at the table."

That was an adventure in itself, given that the girls needed a little help from the boys to clamber up into chairs at the table. Jo kept an eye on that little proceeding as she portioned out the food for cooking, smiling to herself when all four were safely settled and waiting impatiently for their Christmas treat.

"Wow, are you sure these are our kids? They seem awfully well behaved," Dean teased as he passed out four glasses of "chocky milk", complete with straws. He could no longer threaten that Santa wouldn't bring them presents when there were presents a-plenty beneath the Christmas tree.

"Well, three of them came from you," Jo pointed out, tossing a wink to the quartet at the table.
"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."

Dean Winchester

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Re: A Very Winchester Christmas
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2020, 05:24:05 PM »
"Pretty sure Ares would argue if you claimed all four of them."

"Still from my bloodline," Dean replied with a shrug. Alex was his nephew, after all. They were family. "Right, Alex?" he asked, ruffling the boy's hair.

"What's a bloodline?" Alex asked, looking up from his milk curiously.

Jo grinned, rolling her eyes. "That one is on you, princess," she informed her husband, turning to start measuring out ingredients for the pancake batter.

"Gee, thanks," Dean murmured sarcastically for his wife's benefit. At least, she hadn't smacked his rear in front of the kids. "A bloodline is ..." he started, turning back to the foursome of chocky milk drinking munchkins. "It's just another way of saying family."

"So because Mitéra is your family, I'm a bloody line too?" Alex asked absently.

Behind the children, Ayden's head came into view around the doorframe, a cheeky challenge of a grin on her face aimed directly at her brother.

"No..." Dean replied, rubbing a brow, at a loss as to how to explain in a way the kids would understand if they didn't already. "I mean, yes, sort of ... What I mean is we're family," he said, looking over to find Ayden watching with a look on her face that told him she was enjoying this a little too much. "Ask your mother," he said, tousling Alex's hair again and taking the easy way out. After all, he had pancakes to make!

"Coward," Ayden informed him, but she did come into the room, sitting down at the table to explain to the children what was meant by "bloodline".

Jo laughed as she passed the bowl of batter over to Dean. "How do you manage to get yourself cornered by children on a daily basis?" she asked teasingly. "It's a gift."

"Or a curse," Dean murmured back. He adored the kids, but he still wasn't very good at answering all their unexpected questions - or so he thought, anyway. For a guy who'd lost his entire family, there was nothing more important than the family he'd made here.

She touched a kiss to his shoulder, turning her attention to the rest of the breakfast they were preparing for their large, extended family. The house might crowded today, but it was a good feeling. "Are we expecting any other Olympians to drop in today?"

"I don't think Olympians celebrate Christmas," Dean remarked, though that might not stop any of them from dropping in. Christmas did have its origins in pagan holidays. "Do you think they'll bring a dish to pass?" he added with a smirk.

She snorted, rolling her eyes at him. "I think Apollo might know enough to do that, but the others? No chance." There was a sizzle from one of the pans as she dropped bacon and sausages in it to cook.

"Daddy?" Hope had got bored of the conversation with Auntie Ayden, calling out to Dean. "Is you goin' to flip 'em?"

Dean's heart never ceased to swell with pride and joy to hear any of his three children refer to him by that title. "Almost ready to flip," he replied, looking over at his daughter and knowing he couldn't very well invite her over to help without asking the other three. "Who wants to help?"

Over the clamor of excited volunteers, Jo waved her hand to quiet them down. "One each," she said, laying down the rules. "And then you go back into the living room while we finish cooking breakfast. Okay?"

The children nodded their heads agreeably, knowing better than to argue, especially on Christmas Day. Dean dragged a stool over to the stove and one by one, each child was called over to flip a pancake, while Dean and Jo guided them and made sure no one got burned.

"Can we open our presents now?" Anna asked, with doe-eyed charm.

"After breakfast," Jo told her, stroking her hair back from her eyes fondly. "If you really want something to do, you can go and get dressed with your Christmas sweaters."

Hope pulled a face, leaning over to whisper something into Anna's ear - probably something to do with playing a game rather than getting dressed.

Anna frowned, wanting to please both her mother and sister, but maybe she could talk her sister into getting dressed before they played a game. Dean smirked, practically reading the twins' minds, especially that of the twin who took most after him.

"Why don't you all get dressed while we finish cooking breakfast? Then we'll open presents," he suggested.

"I give you permission to bully the boys and blame it on me," Jo added with a wink to the twins.

Ayden snorted with laughter at the table, having been listening to all of this. "I'll help," she offered, rising to her feet to usher all four out of the kitchen.

"Was that too easy?" Dean asked his wife with a smirk. "I think that was too easy. Maybe it should be Christmas every day," he added, though he wasn't sure he could handle that much confusion on a daily basis, even if it was joyful confusion.

"That was too easy," she agreed with a low chuckle. "But it's a special occasion. Most of the time, we don't have other adults in the house to back us up." She grinned at him, kissing his cheek. "I think I'm almost done here. Just have to finish up the potatoes."

"Okay, I'll set the table," he told her, more than happy to do his fare share of the chores, just as he did every day. "So, uh ..." he started, as he took the plates from the cupboard. "When do we want to share the good news?"

Shaking the frying pan, she considered this. "It all depends if you want to share it today, or keep it to ourselves until Christmas is over with," she pointed out. "We don't really know how the kids are going to react to the idea of a new baby."

"Are you kidding?" he asked, chuckling to himself. Maybe he was just being naive or too optimistic, but he couldn't see the kids not being excited about having a little brother. And Dean was pretty convinced it was a little brother, even if the future hadn't worked out exactly how Hope and Sam had said it would. "It's another Christmas present!"
"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."

Dean Winchester

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Re: A Very Winchester Christmas
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2020, 05:24:24 PM »

"Well, they can't really unwrap this one just yet," she laughed, plating up the potatoes. One by one, the serving dishes made their way over to the table, laid out for people to help themselves.

"You realize Ellen probably already knows, and Sam probably has a pretty good idea," he pointed out. One by one, each place was set with about as much care as a man like Dean Winchester was wont to give. All that really mattered to him was that his family was all together, safe and sound, despite the chaos.

"And Ayden, too," she agreed in amusement. "But it would be a surprise for the others." She paused, reaching out to gently curl her hand to his jaw. "I don't mind who knows, or when, baby. Your present, your decision."

"Well, you know, I have a little surprise for you, too," he told her, with a playful gleam in his eyes. He'd had plenty of time to give her a present before the kids were up, but for some reason, he was only mentioning it now.

"Oh, really?" She raised her brows, grinning at the look on his face. "And here I thought you'd already given it to me before we got out of bed. How wrong I was."

"That's not just for you, though," he admitted, since he got just as much fun from their romps as she did. "I mean, a real present," he said, a mischievous grin on his face that said he knew something she didn't.

"Because that look doesn't make me suspicious at all," she countered laughingly, looping her arms about his waist. "You seem to be feeling the need to give me this present before we all sit down to eat, hmm?"

"Mmm ... Maybe," he murmured, that smirk still on his face, as his looped his arms around her waist. They were in danger of letting breakfast get cold, but he was having a hard time keeping her "present" a secret much longer.

"Decide quickly, princess," she warned with a grin, rising onto her toes to kiss him. "Or face the wrath of Bobby when he sits down to a cold breakfast."

Except for the fact that even Bobby was in on the surprise, but how was she to know that? "Okay, close your eyes," he told her, backing away and waiting for her to do as he instructed.

Jo sighed through her smile, obediently closing her eyes. She laid her hands on her hips, expecting something embarrassing or ticklish to happen to her at any moment.

Dean waved a hand in front of Jo's face to make sure she wasn't peeking, before she heard the sound of feet shuffling as he went to the back door to fetch her present from an accomplice who he'd made arrangements with on the sly. The only real sound that might give the surprise away was the sound of a muffled whimper and more shuffling feet.

Jo's head turned toward the sound, suspicion touching the smile on her face once again. "Let me guess," she said in amusement. "It's not another knife for my collection."

"Do you really need another knife, baby?" Dean asked. Besides, what kind of present was that? No, he'd gotten her something much better than that, as evidenced by the sound of a small "Woof".

Whatever she might have said, it was lost in a sudden snort of laughter at the unmistakable sound that followed his question. "Well, I've never heard a knife make that sound coming out of a sheath before."

"Open your eyes!" he said, more nervous about her reaction to his "present" than he had been when he'd asked her to marry him. If she told him to take it back, it just might break his heart.

"So commanding, Mr. Winchester," she teased, but opened her eyes just as he told her to. It took a moment to readjust to the light, but as she did, she automatically focused her gaze onto the adorable ball of fluff in her husband's hands. "Oh ..."

"Well? What do you think?" he asked, scritching the little ball of fluff's chin while he held it in his arms. There had been a time when he hadn't been very fond of dogs, but a lot had changed since he'd married Jo. Besides, this wasn't a dog - it was a puppy!

"Oh, my god ..." Jo laughed as she reached out for the tiny dog, letting it sniff her fingers before her hand joined Dean's in scritching its fur. "Aren't you gorgeous? Is it a boy or a girl?" she asked, giggling just a little as the puppy licked her palm.

"It's a girl," Dean replied, a slightly sheepish smile on his face. "I, uh ... I know I said I don't like dogs, but ... How can you resist that face?" he asked.

"She's adorable," Jo assured him. Her own wariness of dogs was very specific to hellhounds, and since she could now see those, dogs in generals weren't such an issue. "Can I hold her? What's her name?"

"I, um ... haven't named her yet," he said, carefully handing the puppy to Jo and hoping she didn't pee on her. "I know I should have asked you first," he told her, especially considering the news she had shared with him a little while ago.

"Hey, you." Though Dean seemed worried about her reaction, it couldn't be more obvious that Jo was delighted with her unexpected present, gathering the excited little canine into her shoulder and laughing as the puppy licked her cheek. "She's beautiful. Thank you." With her free hand, she drew him close to kiss him. "Stop worrying so much. Pretty sure a lot of other people would have stopped you if this was a bad idea."

Dean smiled, relieved that Jo seemed pleased with her gift, though he wasn't sure she'd feel the same the first time the puppy peed on the carpet. "Sam said we had a dog, but ... he didn't tell me what kind. I didn't believe him at first ... until I saw her."

"She's perfect," Jo told him, her smile still wide with pleasure. "It'll be good for the kids, too. And I'll have someone to keep me company on the nights I can't sleep coming up." She winked at him teasingly.

"Don't I keep you company?" he asked, despite her teasing, as he scritched the puppy behind the ears. He was just about to say something else when there was a stampede of little feet and an audible gasp as the younger set found them with the puppy.
"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."

Dean Winchester

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Re: A Very Winchester Christmas
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2020, 05:24:41 PM »
"Because someone needs to be awake enough during daylight for the little league army?" Jo suggested, her head turning toward the door as four little people bounced to a bumpy halt, transfixed by the sight of a tiny dog.

Bertie was the one who was brave enough to approach first. "Daddy, did you get Mumma a dog for Christmas?"

"No, Daddy got Mumma a puppy for Christmas," Dean corrected his son with a grin. "Wanna meet her?" he asked the foursome regarding the newest addition to the family.

"A dog is for wife, not jus' for Kwis'mus," Hope intoned in a lofty voice, snickering at the look on Bertie's face.

Jo rolled her eyes, smiling as she crouched down. "Slowly, then," she said. "And when Dad says back off, you back off. You don't want to frighten her, do you?"

Anna stood toward the back of the group, beside Alex, almost as if she was too shy to step closer and meet the new arrival.

"C'mon," Alex said, taking her hand and tugging her forward. "She's just a puppy. She won't bite."

Anna nodded, looking a little bit wary. "Will she bite, Daddy?" Anna asked from the back of the group.

"She might if she gets scared, but I don't think she's scared," Dean explained.

"Why don't you all sit down and let her investigate you a bit?" Jo suggested, gently lowering the little dog to the ground herself.

It didn't surprise her that the puppy stayed close under her bent knees until the crowding group was sitting down. A minute later, she was sniffing at outstretched fingers and legs curiously, little tail wagging ten to the dozen.

Dean watched as the kids crowded around to let the puppy investigate them further, chuckling to see her tail waggling happily. "Looks like we passed the test," he murmured to Jo.

"What's her name?" Anna asked as the puppy licked her fingers.

"She doesn't have one yet," Dean told her, looking to Jo for suggestions.

"What about Bandit?" Jo suggested, tilting her head at Dean curiously. It would have to be a name neither of them minded yelling in public, after all. Hope giggled as the puppy walked awkwardly over her legs to get to Alex.

"Bandit as in Smokey and the?" Dean asked, a smirk on his face. "Maybe we should wait and see what kind of personality she has before we pick a name," he suggested.

"What about Fluffy?" Anna suggested. "Or Snowball?"

"Wiggler!" Hope declared, dissolving into loud cackles that, unfortunately, made the puppy skitter away to hide with Dean and Jo once again.

"Okay, I'm gonna take Fluffy here outside to do her business while you all eat breakfast," Dean said, scooping the puppy up into his arms. He didn't think the name Fluffy would stick, but that was what he was calling her for now.

"Yes, breakfast is ready!" Jo announced, standing up and waving her hands for the kids to do the same. "Go fetch the adults before everything goes cold!"

In the meantime, Dean stepped outside, just as he said he was going to, to let the puppy pee before she peed on the floor in excitement - but not before snagging a slice of bacon. Thank goodness for newspaper - they were going to need a lot of it.

By the time he got back inside, the kitchen table was full with space left for him, everyone passing dishes backward and forward and just enjoying being family on a special day.

"Daddy, we saved you some!" Hope said happily from where she was sat next to Sam, waving her hand toward Dean's empty seat imperiously.

Dean looked around, suddenly at a loss as to what to do with the puppy. "I, uh ..." It seemed he hadn't really thought this puppy thing out very well.

"Just keep her in your lap for now, Dad. She'll be fine," Sam advised his father.

It used to be weird, taking advice from a son who'd come back from the future, but Dean had mostly gotten used to it by now. He might have objected but the puppy had just peed, so he thought his lap should be safe enough for now.

Ayden chuckled, laying a fully laden plate down in Dean's place to tempt him into forgetting about being the perfect Dad for a few minutes while he inhaled his breakfast.

"I vote the Olympians do the washing up," Ellen was saying through a mouthful. "Since I'm cooking later."

"We're cooking, you mean," Jo argued, but Ellen just grinned at her.

"Nope, you're sitting down."

"You could give her a good Greek name," Ares suggested with a shrug, while he refilled his plate.

"You wanna leave some for everyone else there, Hercules?" Bobby grumbled aloud.

"Actually ..." Dean interrupted, looking around the table at the organized chaos. "Jo and I have an announcement to make."

Becky looked up from the other side of the table, where she had been cutting up Anna's pancakes for the little girl. "What kind of announcement?" she asked curiously. It didn't seem as though it could be a bad one, not today.

Dean didn't think the news would come as any big shock. After all, Sam had already told them to expect another son sometime in the future, but not everything Sam had told them had happened just as he'd predicted. "Um ..." Dean murmured, catching Jo's eye, a sly smirk on his face.
"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."

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Re: A Very Winchester Christmas
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2020, 05:25:01 PM »
"Don't you "um" me, spit it out," Ellen told him, grinning as Jo dissolved into giggles.

"It was your present, baby, you get to share it," Dean's wife informed him, winking over at Sam, who could probably guess at this point.

Sam actually rolled his eyes at this point. "Isn't it obvious?" he asked, wondering why no one else seemed to grasp what his father was hinting at.

"It will be in a few months," Dean murmured.

Ayden was very deliberately looking down at her plate, grinning around her over-large mouthful. She knew, but it wasn't her secret to share.

Hope looked around at the adults. "Did Mumma get you a good present, Daddy?"

"A very good present, but technically it won't arrive for another, oh, eight months or so?" Dean replied with a smirk. Though Hope would most likely not understand that reference, the adults around the table should.

Jo tilted her head, lips moving as she counted silently. "Six months," she corrected in amusement. She squawked as Ellen abruptly lurched up from her seat to smother her in a tight hug.

Hope, on the other hand, just looked confused. "But how's it a pressie for now if it's not here?"

"Six months. I stand corrected," Dean said, that smirk still in place on his face. He turned then to Hope, his smile softening for his eldest daughter - older by a few minutes anyway. "What would you say if I said you're gonna have a baby brother?" he asked, the question not only directed at Hope but at Anna and Bertie, too.

Hope pulled a face, apparently not that delighted with the idea, but Bertie's face lit up excitedly.

"You're gonna make a baby boy?" he asked brightly. "I get another brother?"

Jo's smile softened as she caught Sam's eye; she deeply loved that her children all referred to him as their brother, despite his attempts to distance the relationship in early days.

"That's the idea," Dean confirmed, looking to the girls for their opinion on the matter and noting the look on Hope's face. "That would make you two big sisters," he pointed out. "Think you can handle that?"

Anna looked to Hope, as if to see what her twin sister would say on the matter before replying for herself.

"Do I have to play with him?" Hope asked. She was a ways from being sold on the idea of a new baby, it seemed, but if Anna was excited, it wouldn't be long before she was, too.

"You don't have to do anything, but be nice to him," Dean told her. "He's going to be part of this family, like the rest of us."

Despite her sister's question, Anna finally spoke up. "I'll be nice to him, Daddy," she told her father, sweetly.

"You have time to get used to the idea," Jo promised the girls gently. "He won't be ready for a long time yet." She was fairly sure Hope would come 'round in less than six months.

"Congratulations," Ares interjected, lifting his cup of orange juice to toast the good news.

"Does that mean I'm gonna have a new cousin?" Alex asked, looking a little confused.

"Yes, agori mou," Ayden told her son. "The new baby will be your cousin, just like Bertie, Hope, and Anna are." She smiled at him fondly.

Alex seemed to consider that a moment before blurting, "I would like a little brother someday." He had a little sister already, but she was too little to have any fun with yet.

Ares chuckled and reached over to affectionately ruffle his son's hair. "All in due time, my lad."

"We have plenty of time for that," Ayden agreed in amusement. Melita, their youngest, was currently asleep in the living room, but she would be awake and a part of the festivities in short order, no doubt.

Anna looked suspiciously at her mother's belly and pointed at it with a forkful of pancake. "How d'you know it's a boy in there?"

Dean reached over to halt the fork-pointing before his daughter accidentally launched a forkful of syrupy pancake at her mother.

"It's a feeling, sweetie," Jo told her, trying not to laugh as Dean intervened. "We'll find out for sure later on."

"I bet Auntie Ayden knows if it is or not," Bertie said, eyeing his aunt hopefully.

Ayden just smiled back at him. "You're right, I do," she agreed. "And I need to check on Melita." She rose from the table, neatly removing herself from the conversation. Ayden had learned quite quickly how to keep herself from blurting out truths better kept under wraps.

"Ayden isn't the only one who knows," Dean muttered, mostly to himself.

"Well, can't say I'm surprised ... considering," Bobby remarked, with a cheesy grin.

"Considering what?" Dean asked, brows furrowed.

"You know what," Bobby countered.

"Bobby Singer, if you say what I think you're going to say, I'm goin' to make you baste the turkey with a teaspoon," Ellen interjected quickly. "Honestly, the men in this family. Little ears don't gotta hear everything that comes out of your mouths."

"Just sayin'," Bobby said, lifting his hands in a show of surrender. He was smart enough not to pick a fight with his wife, even if he didn't think Jo's news was all that surprising.

"What?" Ares asked, looking from Ellen to Bobby in confusion.
"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."

Dean Winchester

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Re: A Very Winchester Christmas
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2020, 05:25:21 PM »

"Never mind, Hercules," Bobby remarked. "I'll explain it to you later."

"You do know my name is not Hercules," Ares retorted. "Hercules was a ..."

"Yeah, yeah, I know!" Bobby interrupted, lifting a hand to silence the Olympian before he went into one of his long-winded stories about the ancients.

"Ah, Christmas," Becky said, with exaggerated humor, resting her chin on her hand. "It just wouldn't be the same without the promise of an argument."

"We're not arguing!" Bobby and Ares exclaimed together.

Dean only chuckled, in agreement with Becky. "That's family for you," he murmured. The expression on his face shifted suddenly to a look of alarm, and he jumped to his feet, the puppy cradled in one hand. "She pee'd on me!'

As the children erupted into cackling laughter, Jo rose to rescue Dean from the puppy, gathering the little dog against her chest gently. "I thought you made sure she did her business before you came back in?" she asked with a grin.

"I did!" Dean insisted, a little defensively.

"Puppies are like babies. They go whenever they want," Bobby pointed out.

"Thank you, Captain Obvious," Dean retorted, looking down at his now soiled jeans with a frown.

"Go and change your pants, baby," Jo suggested in amusement, rising from her own seat to grab some newspaper. Thank goodness the children didn't need the baby pen for a while.

Bobby tried to hide a smirk behind his beard as he snagged a few more pancakes.

"Don't touch my pancakes!" Dean warned the small group as he started from the room to change his jeans.

"Is Daddy mad?" Anna inquired, with worried, innocent eyes.

"No, sweetie," Ellen assured her warmly. "He's embarrassed because he thinks he just made himself look silly. But a puppy is just a baby dog, and babies don't always know when and where they should do their stuff. It wasn't anyone's fault, was it?"

Anna accepted that explanation but was still frowning as she glanced over at her mother with the puppy. "Is he gonna take her back?" she asked, unable to hide the worry from her voice.

The puppy had already gone back to sleep, apparently trusting the warm arm holding her safely against Jo's chest as she set up a pen for her in a corner of the kitchen. "No, honey," she promised her daughter. "You don't send someone away because they make a little mistake, do you? We'll teach her. She's part of our family now."

"Okay, Mama," Anna replied, looking relieved as she turned her attention to the next most important thing on Christmas morning. "Can we open presents now?" she asked, looking longingly toward the living room, where the presents were piled around the Christmas tree.

Given the sheer enthusiasm on the faces of all the children as they looked to Jo, it was a wonder she didn't cave right there. "Be patient," she advised. "When everyone's finished eating, and we're all in the living room, then we will open presents. I promise."

"Okay, Mama," Anna replied, pouting a little as she poked at her pancakes, and yet, so far, they'd already received two very unexpected and exciting presents - that of a puppy and a soon-to-be new baby brother.

Sam looked over at his siblings with a fond smile. "Why don't you finish up and we'll play a game while we wait?" he asked, knowing how hard it was for little ones to be patient on Christmas morning.

"Yay!" Hope cheered, throwing her hands up excitedly at the prospect of doing more than watching the adults eat and talk, and hastily shoveled another mouthful of pancake past her lips.

Becky snorted at the excitement, rolling her eyes at Sam fondly. He was an adorable pushover for his little siblings.

Sam was more like an uncle than a brother in age, but he remembered Christmas mornings, just like this one, sitting around the table waiting to open presents in a world that was far darker than the one his siblings - and the younger version of himself - were living in.

"Christmas only comes once a year," he said, smiling.

Ellen swept an eye over the children’s plates quickly, reveling in her position as "gramma".

"One more mouthful, and then you can get down and argue about a game," she pronounced, pretty sure Dean would rather not be stared at resentfully when he came back to finish his own breakfast.

The children dug into their pancakes, cleaning their plates like they'd been starving to death, the promise of a game far better than listening to the adults bickering. It wasn't long before Sam and Becky were leading the little group into the living room, while the adults finished their breakfast in relative peace.

"What did I miss?" Dean asked as he returned, moving over to refill his coffee.

"A mass exodus of over-excited small people," Ayden told him, re-entering at his back with a groggy Melita in her arms. The four-month-old had only just properly woken up, looking around herself owlishly as her mother sat down once again.

"Sam and Becky are buying us time with a game," Jo added. She had set up the playpen with a layer of newspaper and one of the doggy beds Bobby had directed her to, and the new puppy was all but snoring once again.

"Well, it is Christmas," Dean said, as he reclaimed his seat at the table and piled his plate high with pancakes, frowning a little to find they were cold.

Even with cold pancakes and soiled jeans, it was still one of the best Christmases ever, as far as he was concerned. He was surrounded by family, with a wife and kids of his own, and the grim future that had awaited them when he'd entered this universe had been averted. What more could he ask for?
"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."

Dean Winchester

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Re: A Very Winchester Christmas
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2020, 05:31:08 PM »

"Family's there, for the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts."