A Little Xander Goes A Long Way Sometimes.
Dean walked into the bar he had been called to meet someone at. The bartender spotted him and pointed, getting a nod of thanks. Dean strolled back that way, finding a middle aged man and something smaller hiding behind him. "What did you need to speak to me about?" he asked.
"Sir, I'm with Wolfram and Hart."
"We're a law firm."
"Figured that by the name. And?"
"We've recently gotten the account for an estate of one Joyce Summers." Dean made 'go on' motions. "In it she left a few things to her daughters and one to you, plus a few pieces of paperwork that have to be gone over."
"Are we related?"
"More or less." He looked down. "Alex?" The baby growled. "Stop that," he growled back.
"Dude, ease off, he's just a kid. He's probably scared," Dean said, squatting down. "I don't know why he brought you to a bar, little guy, but can I borrow him for a few minutes?"
"He is why you're here," the lawyer said. He handed over a letter. "From her daughter and her."
"Just read it please? It should answer all the questions you might have."
Dean sat down at the table, reading the letter. He noticed the little boy sneaking closer to him. "Cuddle up if you want, kid. I don't mind." There was something seriously wrong here and he doubted it was the child. He scanned it over first then went back to reading it in-depth. Finally he looked at him. "Why me?"
"We were told you were the biological father."
That's not what the letter said so it probably had a good reason. "That's cool I guess. Does he have anything other than paperwork?"
"He has a few suitcases. They're in my car." He pulled out a thicker envelope and let him have it. "All the pertinent custody forms, sir."
The baby looked up at the new man and patted. "Bahbah," he said quietly.
Dean looked down at him. "What?"
"Thirsty, Alex? I can get you a drink."
"Can I have a few to see if we can get along?" Dean asked. The lawyer nodded, going to get him some water from the bar. Dean leaned down. "Xander, how old are you?" He held up three fingers with a shy smile. He hadn't seen that look since Sammy had given it to him. "Are they bad?" He nodded. "All of it?" He nodded. "Then let me get us some backup from Sammy." He called him. "Come to the bar. Now." He hung up and smiled at the boy. "So, three whole years old, huh? Are you picking up girls yet?" he teased. The boy shook his head quickly, sticking a finger in his mouth. "That's all right, we'll show you how to do it the right way and pick up the good chicks, kiddo." He patted down his hair, seeing the wince. "What? Head hurt?" The boy nodded. "Why?"
"Bah dem'n," he said, blinking up at him.
"Damn," Dean muttered. That explained a lot to him and now he knew why he felt there was a trap closing around him. He saw Sam come in and waved him over. "That's Sammy. You don't be scared of him even if he is a jackass now and then."
Xander stared then shifted closer to Dean when the bigger guy sat down. "Bahbah," he said, patting the envelope.
Dean handed over the letter first. Sam read it then nodded and took the papers to read over, smirking at something and showing Dean. "Interesting clause."
"Very," Dean agreed. He looked around and the lawyer was gone. The bartender waved him over so he walked over there. "He flee in terror?"
"He got called and fled. He put the kid's bags inside the doorway." He pointed. "Go ahead and take him?"
"Can we get dinner first?"
"Sure." He took his order and went to make it done while they gathered up the kid's stuff to put him and it in the car. Dean paid and walked out. "Poor kid. He seems a bit of a hard ass."
Once they were back in the room, Dean set food down for the boy. "Okay, Xander. What the hell happened?"
"Willow," he said quietly, looking down. "Meany."
"Isn't she a witch by the rumors we heard about your group?" Sam asked him. Xander nodded, looking at him. Sam squatted down. "You have no reason to fear either of us, Xander. We're not mean. We're not bad guys. We won't hurt you and if someone tries I get to kick their ass. Got it?" Xander nodded, giving him a tentative hug. "Shh. It'll be okay until you're your right age or we fix it." He put him back down. "Eat while we call someone?"
"What happened to Joyce?" Dean asked. Xander pointed at his head. "Her head what?"
"Bump. Knot. Brain knot."
"Stroke?" Sam guessed. The boy shook his head. "Tumor?" Xander nodded. "Ah. She was protecting you after Willow did this and then she died, right?" Xander nodded. "Why Wolfram and Hart?"
"Who?" Dean asked, looking confused.
"Deadboy. LA." He blinked at him. "We see Cordy?"
"Cordy? We'll see if we can do that," he decided, looking at Sam. That way they'd have answers. Sam nodded it was fine with him. They were about two days drive from LA anyway. "We can do that. For now eat so we can take a bath and get you into bed." Xander nodded, settling in to eat his dinner while they ate and watched the local news. They started to cover Sunnydale but the kid covered his ears and hummed so they turned the channel to something else. Finally he started to yawn so Sam got him into the shower, having to come help him do part of it. Then he went to bed on the rollaway they had gotten. Dean went outside to call the number on the letter.
"It's Dean Winchester. I'd like some answers. Now." The woman spluttered. "I got a letter from Joyce Summers?" She said something then hung up. Dean called back. "You are? I'm Dean, Joyce Summers sent me a letter and a precious thing she was hiding. Yes, his name is Xander. What the fuck, dude?" He listened then he groaned. "Okay, and we're doing ...." He nodded once. "That's probably a good idea. Was she at least stopped?" He grimaced. "Okay. Then what do we do? He wanted to see someone named Cordy and the lawyer fled when my brother got there." He wrote down an address. "That's acceptable. It'll be two or three days before we get there. Thank you." He hung up and went back inside, nodding Sam outside since the boy was asleep.
"The Willow mentioned in the letter is a witch," he said quietly. He glanced in the window. The boy was still asleep. "The letter was right; that is the former White Knight of Sunnydale. She got pissed at him for saying she was using too much magic on the simple things and accidentally deaged him." Sam moaned. "Joyce Summers was Buffy's mom. She just died of a brain tumor two days ago. She had been hiding the baby from Willow because she thought Willow might try something to cover up this mistake. Apparently she had done a memory spell earlier this month." Sam gave him a heated look, that was not a white light witch move. Dean held up a hand. "They're facing a hell goddess. They need him protected from both. Somehow, Willow's spell goofed and made him what the certain being may be looking for instead of the original container. It's possible she split it, it's possible she moved it. They're not sure yet."
"Apparently evil and tried to do this to claim his soul, our souls, and to keep him from hunting plus us from hunting. The guy I talked to will have paperwork drawn up for us by someone decent. We can meet them at an address in LA in a few days. Cordy is his former girlfriend by the way. Deadboy is Angel, the PI we'll be meeting him at. He's a vampire with a soul."
Sam took a deep breath then looked at him. "Dean, he's just a kid. We're always on the road. Do you remember how hard that was on us?"
Dean nodded. "They'll know by then if it can be resolved. If so, he'll be himself and go spank her. If not, we'll see."
"Dad will scream."
"So?" He shrugged. "The old guy thinks that there's a wish involved as well. Her dying wish was that the baby be brought to someone safe who would be like a parent to him or be a parent to him, Sammy. They heard that she made the wish."
"A dying wish has more strength than a regular wish," Sam said. "Was she a witch too?"
"No. But Sunnydale has an influx of wish demons. Xander, by the rumors, was dating a former one." Sam moaned. "So we'll have to see but think you can handle being an uncle?"
"I think I can do that," he agreed, smiling some. "He's a good kid."
"He is. We should check his bags for nasty stuff, just in case. The guy said to not trust their lawyer at all. They had basically snatched the kid to bring him here so we'd sign that paperwork."
"Very." He shrugged. "We'll tell Dad in a few days."
"Can we raise him without turning him into the soldiers we were?" Sam asked quietly.
Dean nodded. "Maybe. We'll have to see. I know damn well he's not going to be doing PT in the morning with a concussion." He went back inside to look at the boy then sat down to rest. Sam came in a few minutes later. "Anything good?"
"Missouri said nothing's come up recently on her radar."
"Even better." The boy let out a snore then flipped onto his back. "He's three so we might have to watch out for bedwetting. You did sometimes."
"Gee, thanks for reminding me, Dean," he said dryly. He flopped down on his bed. "He's not having nightmares."
"I hope it'll stay that way." He yawned and got up to get ready for bed. No telling how early the kid would get up. Sam did the same once he was done in the bathroom. They shut off the lights and listened to the little guy sleep. It was a strange sound and it'd take a while to get used to.
Xander peeked around a doorway. Then he walked inside. He found someone and poked him. "Deadboy."
Angel looked down at the kid then sighed. "I heard she goofed." Xander flipped him off. "Don't turn into Spike, Xander. I'll have to spank you like I did him." Xander cackled.
"You lay a finger on the kid and I'm paddling you back," Dean promised as he walked in. "Then I'm feeding him chocolate." They had learned that chocolate and Xander was a *terrible* combination that had the kid bouncing all over the car.
"I'm not that evil anymore," Angel complained.
"So? Don't touch the kid." Xander beamed at him. "Pick on Sammy, Xander." He went to do that. "So. What's up?"
"Giles is in the office. Giles?" He came out. "This one?"
"Yes, I do believe that is him. Rupert Giles, Mr. Winchester."
"Dean and that's my brother Sam being tormented for getting us up late this morning."
"Thank you for coming. This is rather a difficult time and situation."
"Wish?" Dean asked.
"Indeed. I've found the one who granted it and she did have her reasons. Perhaps we should talk somewhere privately?"
"Sure. Am I or is Sammy the dad?"
"I have no idea. I know she went hunting for hunters specifically to protect him." That got a nod and they headed that way while Xander stalked someone else in the hotel. They heard a female scream and a cackle. "That's Cordelia, his ex. I informed her last night and she started to cry. He's getting watched fairly well I'm sure." He took off his glasses to clean them, looking at the boys before putting them back on. "Joyce was an exceptional woman. Her daughter is my slayer. She's mothered the whole group many times. Their..."
He sighed and sat down. "Their parents weren't the best ever so Joyce filled in. In many ways she's the only mother Xander's ever known. His own... well, to put it kindly she drinks heavily and often doesn't do much with her family. His former father was the same way." Sam nodded slowly at that. "Hence Joyce wanting to protect him from his former family and Willow." He looked at his hands then at them. "Xander is a most unusual soul, gentlemen. A very pure one that jumped into the battles to protect a friend and never left. He recruited, he planned for us, he kept morale up."
"You guys treated him like shit now and then too," Dean said.
"We did. We thought him too normal sometimes to help and it did hurt him but he still stuck with us." He gave him a gentle smile. "He's the reason we've been so successful. He's also the reason we've had a few fights and a battle or two. Xander does also have this tendency to draw things to him. I have no earthly idea why but Joyce did have a point in specifying someone who could protect him. The wish demon chose you two because you have the ability to protect him from his own luck and tastes in women." He pulled out a picture to hand over.
"That was him last month. The brunette is Anya, his former fiance. Formerly Anyanka, over Women Scorned." Sam shuddered. "Exactly. He's been working on gentling her back to human life after she lost her power center and job. He put up with a lot from the ladies in his life. He deserves better this time." He took the picture back and put it back into his wallet. "I've looked over what she's done. The spell's residue, him when he was local, all of it. There is no way it can be redone. She called on a higher goddess to assist her and no one I know, even the High Priest of Janus, can undo that working." They both nodded.
"In it, she made sure he has age appropriate memories, which is probably a kindness on her part. Xander has seen many battles, patrols, hunting, staking, and death. I'm sure if she hadn't, he'd be having horrid nightmares." He shifted to look outside then at them. "Joyce's wish was to protect the young one she thought of as a son. To keep him away from his former family and us, specifically Willow and our current hell goddess. You will have many of us popping around to check on him. I dare say Tara, our very pleasant Wicca witch, is going to rip anyone who hurts him a new one. She nearly did her girlfriend when she found out she had done this."
"So she wished and the demon chose us," Sam said.
Giles nodded. "Yes, because his draw of demons is even stronger. You see, we're facing Glorificus."
Sam moaned. "I did some research into what you're going through right now, Mr. Giles. Where is the key? And her host?"
"Her host we're working on. The key has been split. Part of it is in that one. Part of it is in Buffy's little sister," he said very quietly. They both nodded. "We expect things to finish going nearly to hell sometime soon. She's searching very hard for them both."
"Why not send the other off?"
"Tara found a way to mute the signature. Buffy and I are looking at methods of making her go away."
"Her host," Sam said.
Giles stared at him. "I'll remember that." That got a nod. "Now, I know you two travel but there's been some things that have been made available to you for his comfort. Including a trust fund that will pay you a stipend for his housing allotment. I know you travel most of the year. I have no doubt you won't be settling down. This will make sure you have a place to sleep at night as well. Also I had Spike move all his things locally so you two can go through it. We have no idea what some of them are." He smiled sadly. "I'm very much a traditionalist when it comes to weapons but Xander hasn't been since his possession by a soldier. The hyena made him have some incredible focus now and then when she got him."
"They're still in him?" Dean asked.
"Indeed. I tried to exorcize them both but the hyena wouldn't fully release him and the soldier was done by a chaos sorcerer. He's the only one that kept any memories. I have no idea what Spike found in his storage areas. Beyond some of my books from the library. You three have the right to decide about that. Anya agreed after we badgered her a bit. Anything you don't want you can send to the thrift shop since I think most of it would be clothes."
"You guys have all the keepsakes and pictures you want?" Sam asked.
Giles smiled and nodded. "I made sure I'd have many pictures of my slayer for after she died. Well, died permanently. Xander was rather at fault for that one. Brought her back so there's two slayers."
Dean snickered. "Sounds like Winchester luck to us," he decided. "You can help in case we run into more of your stuff."
"Of course. It's all down in the basement anyway. Things aren't so bad that I can't take tonight before going back." They nodded. "Do not worry about him. Even as a youngster Xander has managed to get himself out of some rather dire circumstances somehow."
"Maybe he's a Winchester by birth," Dean said, cracking Sam up. "He sure sounds like one of us."
"He has the same smart mouth we've heard you have, Dean." That got a smirk back. "Xander, I can hear you."
"He's whistling, I'd hope so," Cordelia said, walking the boy inside. She stared at him. "I will so destroy you down to the molecular level if you let him get hurt. Am I clear?" They nodded. "Good." She handed Xander over to Sam, who let him cuddle in for a nap. "He was making Fred cackle in unholy glee. Thought that might be a bad thing."
"Cordelia, you knew him as a child. Is there anything they should know?"
"Do. Not. Feed. Him. Chocolate."
Dean grinned. "Found that out when a ho-ho sent him rocking around the backseat for three hours."
"He'll find some way to get it," she assured him. "Also, he's ADHD with a slight learning disability. It kept him slowed down in school. The teachers picking on him about it didn't help. His parents either. Them I will gut. You two I'll have tortured, eaten regurged, eaten by something else, and then fucked in hell until you beg for God to invade," she said bluntly.
"We'd never hurt him on purpose," Dean assured her. "We'll try to protect him from the hunts."
She stared him down. "You had better and I *will* be checking, Mister." She walked off sniffling.
"Anya and she were the two nicest of his girlfriends. Neither one tried to kill him physically," Giles said. They both looked at him. He nodded. "He does seem to draw the evil ones to him. With this new gift, the taint from Sunnydale and the hunting, and anything else he might have that drew them originally, we're sure he'll need the protection."
"We can do that," Dean promised. Giles nodded. "Can we put him down?"
"Of course. Angel made a room available to you so you don't have to pay for a motel tonight." They smiled and went to put the boy down. Then Giles led them to the stuff in the basement. He turned on the light and sighed. "I thought he only took one," he said at the artillery case.
Dean stared then at him. "Took?"
"From the National Guard base. Buffy needed some artillery to defeat the Judge that Angelus put back together. Blew it into tiny blobs. I have no idea what to do with that. She'll want to pet it probably."
"I know someone who can deal with it," Dean promised. Giles smiled and gave him a pat on the back before letting them go. Once they were alone Dean looked at him. "Key?"
"Long story. I'll pull it up later, once we're out of her hearing."
"Sure. I get that." They went to look at the artillery. One of the cases was full of regular guns and weapons instead of the artillery but that was fine with them. They picked out a few they liked. The rest Dean called a contact about. The clothes they found they smiled at but set them aside. The kid wouldn't need them for years and storage space in the trunk was limited. They felt someone sneak down and hide behind them. "C'mon over, Xander." Xander slid into his lap, looking at him. "We are sorting stuff to bring with us. Want to help? The rest of the clothes can go to the thrift shop." Xander smiled and nodded.
Angel came out of the shadows. "There's a storage area rented in his name for life." He handed something over. "That way he doesn't have to throw out stuff. Cordelia nagged us into it." Xander stuck his tongue out at him. He stared down at him. "At least they'll protect you the next time a mummy wants you," he said dryly.
"She pretty," Xander told him.
"And evil," Angel reminded him.
Xander shrugged. "So's Cordy."
"Good point." He walked off shaking his head. "The storage space has security so I wouldn't leave bigger weapons there."
"I have a contact that can handle that," Dean promised. He looked down at Xander. "That's pretty cool."
"Star Trek," he said with a point and a wicked grin.
"Sure, we can put that in there." They went back to sorting. Xander grabbed some of the clothes. "That's way too big," Sam complained.
"Comfy," Xander said. "You can borrow."
"Sure, we'll pack a very few things," Dean said, looking at Sam, who shrugged but nodded. "The rest can go into storage." Xander nodded at that. They finished sorting things out. Dean's contact called in a local name and they took the rest of the weapons over there to him. The guy drooled but managed it for them. Xander stared at him until the guy looked down at him. "Know him, Xander?"
Xander nodded. "Um-huh."
The guy stared then at Dean. "How?" he squeaked, pointing.
"Witch. He's my son now."
He nodded. "I'll cancel his last order then." Xander snorted, crossing his arms over his chest, still staring at him. "And give you guys a refund." They all smirked. "Let me do that." He went to do that and came out of the office with the cash. "I'll send that to Cal and the others tonight, guys. Thanks for this."
Xander poked him. "One on eighth."
"They didn't find all yours?" Sam asked.
Xander snorted, shaking his head. "No. Stolen off demons."
"That's not bad. Where?" He leaned down and Xander whispered in his ear. He moaned. "I'll look that over tonight, Xander. Don't worry, these guys are great hunters by the rumors and you'll be safe. Even if you do date some year." The kid cackled at that.
"Can't be worse than Sammy the demon and ghost magnet," Dean said dryly.
"Xander nearly got taken by a possessed dummy once. He got taken by a shape changer who wanted him to fertilize her eggs. There's something in Xander that draws them to him. I don't know if it's a gift, a taint, a curse, whatever. They can tell him and he doesn't always tell so well the other way." The boy sniffled, shaking his head. "I know, it sucks to be your age. You still nearly dated the Incan Mummy, little guy."
"Uh-huh. All except for the guys she was killing to keep her secret and her alive."
"Good point. None of you guys date normally. Buffy dates vampires. You dated Cordelia."
"Anya," Xander said smugly.
"She's a pretty woman," the arms dealer said.
"Who used to be a vengeance demon," Dean said, looking down at him. Xander smirked and waved. "Is there a list of who you dated in case they show up to beat us?"
Xander considered it then nodded. "Keys."
"Keys?" Sam asked.
"Keys." He smirked. Then at the dealer. "Keys?"
"Oh, those." He went to find them, bringing them out. "Xander said if anything major ever went down, he needed someone to get his artillery out of Sunnydale. We'd need it if the world started to get sucked in. LA would be a front line." He held up the USB key set. Sam smirked as he took it. "You have a journal?" Xander nodded. "Well, I guess it'd help identify what killed you for dating it." Xander kicked him on the shin. "Ow!"
"Be nice, Xander." Dean looked at him. "You'll let us know?"
"Of course. Where are you guys tonight?"
"Even better." He shook their hands. "Be safe and watch out for the little guy. Rosenburg's supposed to be on a rip trying to find him."
"Over my dead body since she did this to him," Sam said firmly.
"Oooh, no wonder."
Xander nodded. "Tabula Rasa."
Sam blinked at him. "Tabula.... The memory spell she did?" Xander nodded. "Shit."
"Badly," Xander agreed. He smirked. "I not trouble."
"I know you won't be," Dean promised. "You're not any more trouble than Sammy is, Xander." The boy beamed at him for that and gave him a hug. "C'mon, let's head back to the hotel so you can torment your ex some more." They headed off. The dealer headed up to Sunnydale to look at the stuff, bringing Dean cash the next morning. Dean looked at the note that came in the envelope. "LA has an apocalypse vault now." Angel moaned, walking off to go to bed.
Sam came down the stairs, Xander racing ahead. "He wanted cereal."
"Sure. I'm all for cereal," Dean agreed. He smiled. "Want to say goodbye and we'll go eat and get back on the road? We have to hit a few places until we find Dad."
Xander blinked then moved closer. "Waffles?" he asked happily, beaming at him.
"Sure, you can have a waffle. You probably can't eat a whole stack, Xander."
Cordelia made a rude noise. "He's a bottomless pit, guys. Yes he can. He's got a special plate named after him at the Sunnydale Denny's. Two steaks, six eggs, four helpings of bacon, pancakes, no syrup usually because we know better, coffee or soda, and toast with jelly."
"Damn," Sam said, looking at the kid.
"He's hyper. He works it off," Cordelia said.
"We'll start at a breakfast buffet place then," Dean decided, making Xander dance around in happiness. He grinned at the silliness of it. "That's cool. Go say goodbye. Sammy, we packed?"
"We can be." He went to do that for them. Including Xander's stuff. They had stopped last night to get him stuff to wear since the suitcases had been full of adult clothes. Dean was signing the last of the paperwork at the front desk when he came down. Xander pounced. He grinned. "Ready to hit the car?"
"What bear?" Xander pointed off to his right.
Cordelia moaned, shaking her head. "He has an invisible friend, did have for ages, like until nine, who was a walking bear named Freddy." She looked at him. "You know he's not real, Xander."
"Pooka," he said smugly.
Dean blinked at him. "You have a what?"
"It's going to stay out of sight and out of our stuff?" Sam asked. Xander nodded. "Just protecting you?"
"Thinks I'm fun."
"That's cool then," Dean decided "We'll deal with that later." Cordelia let out another moan, thumping her head on the wall. Dean smirked. "Just think, some year he'll be dating again. If you have a kid now, it'll be her."
She glared at him. "I can see where the bad thoughts come from, Winchester. Maybe he was one of you by birth."
Dean gave her a smug look. "Could be." He finished up and let Giles photocopy a set. Then they headed off. They found a good breakfast buffet and Xander inhaled half the bar, trying to avoid fruit until Sam found the fruit pancake topping. They watched the kid in amazement. "No getting sick in the car, Xander."
"Won't." He burped. "Um, sorry," he said sheepishly.
"You inhaled too much air with the syrup. It happens," Dean said, ruffling his hair. Xander gave him a shy grin. "Just keep manners." Xander nodded and went back to finishing off his plate. On the way out he stole a mint from the basket and it was good for him. He snuggled down in the backseat and fell asleep once they hit the highway. Dean looked back then at Sam. "Where should we call Dad to meet us?"
"Where was he the last time you heard?"
"Heading to the Northwest."
"There's a rogue werewolf up by Seattle eating cows."
"Sure, we can hit that." They headed up that way, calling their father's cellphone one handed. "It's us. We have an important announcement and need to meet somewhere in the open, yet private. Send us coordinates. We're down by LA." He hung up. "Within a few days we should hear something."
Coordinates came through ten minutes later and it was cool with them. Upper California was only a day away.
Dean looked around the clearing. Xander was looking around and he could hear his father coming their way. "Xander, why don't you go pee behind a tree for a few?" Xander ran to do that. "Sammy, go ahead and help him make sure he hits something other than his feet?"
"Sure." He went to do that. "Hey, Dad," he called as he walked, waving.
John came out of the trees. "You messed up and the condom broke?"
"Can I have an explanation then, son?"
"Want the one that'll make you scream and rant or the one that you'll accept?"
John moved closer, looking at the little boy coming back with his younger son. "He's cute."
"A wish demon made him our son. A last wish of a dying soul," Sam said quietly. John gaped. He looked at Xander. "We should let him tell the whole story, huh? Dean can do it better." Xander nodded, staring at John.
John squatted down. "Hey, kid. You got a name?"
"Xander. How old are you, Xander?" He held up three fingers. "That's a good age." The boy grinned. "Can I have them for a few minutes? Can you play on the other side of the clearing so we can yell adult things?"
He stared at him. "Not stupid."
"No, I'm sure you're not."
Dean pulled his father up and walked him off. "Xander was part of the Sunnydale crew, Dad." John shuddered. "Their witch got nagged by him for overdoing the mojo. Badly. She was doing memory spells to cover up her mistakes and things," he said quietly, looking at him. "Buffy's mother saved him when the witch deaged him."
"That blonde girl that's a witch did this?" he demanded.
"No, Dad, Willow did this." John moaned. "A goddess assisted, powerful spell that no one can undo. We talked to Rupert Giles. He said not even the high priest of Janus he knows could undo it." John nodded once at that. "Joyce Summers just died of a brain tumor. Xander is still a demon magnet and needs protected from them, his former best friend, and the hell goddess they have out there," he said very quietly, glancing around then at him. "The wish demon chose us."
"Okay," he decided. "Then what?"
"We've got a son who has some of his old memories. Age appropriate ones. He'll need to be retrained and protected."
John sighed. "Dean, think logically. Do you remember traveling with Sammy?"
"Yeah, and I also know it's not so bad. The kid likes my music more than Sammy does." John gave him a dirty look. "Accept it or not, Dad. I'm not going to put him somewhere. He'll be hurt or killed. They made him my son, or possibly Sammy's son, we don't have DNA tests done, but he's one of ours. Beyond that, he was apparently a Winchester by osmosis somehow before with the luck he had. Only him or Sammy could date a living Incan Mummy."
John shook his head quickly. "I didn't think anyone was as bad of a demon magnet as Sammy is."
"No, he's worse," Dean promised with a smirk. "He already liked weapons too. He's got two past possessions - hyena and a soldier - and an invisible pooka friend named Freddy who watches over him."
"He's worse than Sammy," he decided.
"Exactly. And now he's something else." He handed over the paper from his pocket. "Sammy did some research into the problem. See, Rosenburg slipped and cut. It's split."
John read then lit it on fire with the lighter from his pocket. That was dangerous information to have lying around. "Okay, so I have a grandson?"
"Who eats more than I *ever* did," Dean warned.
"We can hit the buffet in town," he decided. Dean smirked. "How are you going to do schooling?"
"Sammy's dealing with that."
"Protecting him on hunts?"
"You managed it with both of us most of the time. We're going to introduce him to the others soon."
"Let me call around to brag first, Dean. Worry about Bobby and Missouri. They'll know somehow."
"Deer," Xander cooed loudly. It took off running.
John looked over. "Some day we'll teach you how to stalk them, Xander." He looked at his son. "Anything else I should know?"
"They set up a trust fund for him so he'd always at least have a motel bed waiting."
"Good! That'll help you a lot. Kids take a lot of stuff." They walked back over and Xander stared at him. "I'm not going to be mean, kiddo. I'm not like that. You're a shock but I'm good with having a grandson. You'll be one of the Winchester boys soon enough." Xander smirked at that. "He even looks like you, Dean."
"I know. All but his eyes." He winked at Xander, who gave him a hug. "Okay, hungry?"
"Duh," he said with an evil smirk.
"Manners," John ordered.
Xander pouted. "Was."
"That was," Sam agreed. "Those two tease each other that way already." He patted Xander on the head. "Thankfully that concussion is down and gone."
"Yuppers." He bounced a few times. "Food? Me? Now?"
"Sure, we'll eat with you now," Dean agreed. Xander ran for the hiking trail. "Wait for us!" he yelled, jogging after him.
Sam looked at his father. "He's a good kid. He's got a lot of the old memories hidden but the instincts still remain. They don't use salt wards but he knew and understood some of the theory."
"That's good. Are we going to have him tested for magic or other psychic gifts?"
"Probably. She might freak out though."
"She'll learn to love him like we do."
"Good point." They walked off together at the sound of the gunshot. They were sure Dean had it. They found a Black Dog on the ground and Xander pouting at Dean. "What happened?"
"It came for him and he tried to pet it. He was cooing and the thing was giving him the oddest look. When it started to snap I got it back." A ranger came jogging up the trail. "It tried to bite my kid," he said.
He looked at the dog. "Looks rabid," he agreed. "Thank you, sir. Is he all right?"
"He's just fine," Dean said, smiling at Xander, giving him a hug. "Thank you for not screaming."
"We've had a few attacks recently," he admitted sheepishly. "You should've been warned at the gate."
"No one was at the gate when we pulled through," Sam told him. "As long as he's okay we're good." The ranger smiled and let them get on their way.
Once John was in his truck he shook his head quickly. Yeah, the kid was a Winchester and probably Sammy's son because only a demon magnet could beget another one that strong. It surely hadn't come from him! He followed the Impala to town and the small mall that had the buffet in the food court. Xander squealed, making John wince. He was a loud, hyper child.
"Xander, with me," Dean ordered. Xander fell back to walk beside him. "Thank you. You can squeal at the food in a minute. Wait for Grandpa."
Xander blinked his big, brown eyes at John. "Grandma, eat with us?"
"You little shit," he mouthed. Xander just beamed. Then he took off jogging over to a girl. "Maybe he's both yours."
"Xander!" Sam complained.
"Will you date my Uncle Sam?" he asked cutely when he got her attention by poking her on the side. "He likes bad girls and you seem like you'd be a good one for him to see."
She burst out laughing. "That's the most inventive pickup line I've ever seen, little guy. If I wasn't on a date, I'd go talk to him." The boy beamed at that. The one who groaned must be his uncle. "Which one's your uncle?"
"That's Grandma, Uncle Sam, and Daddy." He beamed. "Are you sure you can't date Uncle Sam? He's very tall."
Dean scooped him up. "Sorry. He's three."
"He's adorable." She wrote down her number. "If you're going to be around." She handed it to Dean. "For the one who likes bad girls. I can be a bit naughty."
Dean smirked. "We'll keep that in mind." He walked off, looking down at the kid. He handed Sam the number, not caring he was bright red. "She your sort, Xander?" he asked quietly as they walked.
"Yup. Bad witchy." He smirked. "Hi."
Sam walked off to be humiliated in the bathroom for a bit.
"We'll order for you," Dean called. John finally choked and came out of his shocked state. "It's nice he can spot the bad girls, huh, dad?"
"Very." He looked at Xander. "How did you know?" The boy moved closer to whisper in his ear. "That's a good sign, yeah." The boy beamed and sat in the seat like a big boy.
The waitress came over. "Just you three?"
"I have a brother," Dean said. "He's being embarrassed since Xander just tried to get him a date."
"Aww, that's very sweet of you, love," she said, cooing at the baby and patting him on the head. Xander beamed, making her grin. "You're adorable."
"He eats like a horse," Dean warned. She laughed. "We'll do the buffet. All four of us." She nodded, making note and heading off. "C'mon." Xander walked off with him to get his first plate.
John watched the girl. Yes, Xander definitely had the bad girl taste still. Sam came back and got his own plate then sat down. "You good?"
John leaned over. "He noticed she was wearing something that collected souls," he said in his son's ear. Then he went to get his own food.
Sam moaned, shaking his head. His nephew was slightly insane.
"Grandma, want some rolls?" Xander asked.
John stared at him. "Quit calling me that, Xander." Xander just smirked. "I'm still a guy, that makes me grandfather or sir."
Xander spit at him. "Poopie." Dean swatted him. "Ow!"
Dean smirked. "Thank you." They brought their plates back. "You could try dad."
"Okay. That'll work then."
Xander stared at him. "Willow?"
"If I see her, I'm beating her ass," Dean told him.
Xander pouted. "I know it's hard to understand why she did it, Xander, but an addiction like that isn't something that she's in control of. It's controlling her," Sam said quietly. Xander nodded. "She's on a bad path and we don't want you two near each other in case it tries to hurt you. At least until she's better."
Xander nodded. "I understand."
"Good. Eat." Xander dug in and ate, stealing a few of Sam's fries. "You can have fries the next time we go up," Dean said patiently. Sam handed him another one. "Whatever." He ate, thinking about things.
"At least he doesn't need a crib and diapers," John said as he sat down. "Younger kids are more expensive and cause all sorts of problems. Plus you can never find a babysitter."
"We're doing okay so far," Sam said. "For other things, we'll figure it out."
"How are you doing his school?"
"You can do that?"
"Yeah. Home schooled kids are a valid choice in most states," he said smugly. "They also usually win things like the National Spelling Bee and the Geography Bee." Dean shuddered. "It'll give him something to do in the car." Xander stared at him. "Can you read?" He shrugged. "We can work on that." He smoothed down his hair. "Finish up so we can get you another plate." Xander inhaled the rest and let Sam take him up to get them more food.
"His training?" John asked.
"He's showing some of his old skills so we're going slowly. Starting with PT. He's hyper so it can help him wear it out before bed.
"Freddy said those are nasty," floated over.
"Freddy is his invisible pooka friend," Dean said dryly. "What is?" He came over to see. Then he grimaced. "Those don't look good, no. Skip that veggie, Sammy. He eats plenty of them." He got his son some lo mein and it was good for him. They went back to sit down and eat. Dean saw John's amazed look at the kid inhaling his third plate. "He's a good kid."
"Eating at buffets is better for us anyway. That way even Dean can eat veggies," Sam said.
"He can eat a burger like the rest of us, Sammy."
"I'm sure he can, Dean, but it's not good for him."
"Grandma, make them stop?" Xander asked.
"Keep it up and I'm making you eat tofu," John said dryly.
Xander shrugged. "So?" He nibbled on something. He grew up in Southern California, tofu was something he knew a lot about. They finally finished up and were heading to look in the bookstore for something to do for him. He pointed at something. "Grandma, that woman's going to fall over soon."
Dean went to help the woman who was trying hard to keep her balance. Let his father deal with that issue since it related to him.
John walked him over to the tofu dog place. "Can he have one?"
Xander rattled off something. The attendant smiled and fixed it. "Kimchee or sauerkraut, little guy?"
"Kimchee unless it's extra please." He beamed and accepted it while John paid. Then he devoured it with a hum of pleasure.
"He's from Southern California, Dad. Of course he knows tofu," Sam chided. He grimaced at the disgusting looking things on the dog. "What is that? Not even Dean would eat that."
"Kimchee, mustard, mayo, barbeque sauce, onions, cheeze whiz, and bun," Xander said proudly. "The usual." He walked off.
Dean looked at it. "Do I even want to know?"
"Have a bite, son," John encouraged. "He has your mouth."
Dean finished off the late bite and grimaced. "Kimchee." He got them a soda to share. His father could babysit tonight, right? Xander was happily bouncing around the bookstore with Sam, who found out Xander could read his letters but not *read* yet. So they were working on that and getting some workbooks. Dean found something he wanted in the magazines. John too. They sat down to read while the two geeks in the family went after the books.
Finally Xander came over with a big sigh. "We've been waiting. C'mon!" he whined. "Before I turn into a huge geeky brain."
"Sure, kiddo." They put their magazines back and followed him to the checkout. He did the card swipe and it was good. They headed out to the motel for the night. Dean got them checked in and it was great. John came over to get to know Xander. He sealed his own fate by handing Xander a candy bar after dinner. They let him deal with bedtime while they went to the bar to play some pool.
John looked over as the boys came back. "Should've warned me he was chocolate sensitive, Dean."
"We told you not to give him any earlier," Sam reminded him. He flopped down. "Found that witch. She was more than happy to try to capture my soul too."
"Pity," Dean agreed. He flopped down on his bed, looking at the kid. "He out?"
Dean smirked. "Did how much PT?"
"About ten minutes then he ran off to play in the bathtub. He bounced enough to keep bubbles going." He stood up. "See you two in the morning." They nodded and he went to recover in his own room. His grandson was *horrible*! Even worse than Sam!
The boys shared a smirk and got ready for bed then curled up under their blankets. Halfway through the night Dean felt something sneak under with him and looked down. "What?" he asked quietly.
"Nightmares." He gave him a pitiful look.
"Cuddle in, kiddo. I can defeat nightmares." Xander curled up next to him, letting Dean cuddle him. "Sleep, Xander. I've got you." The boy nodded, relaxing and drifting off again. Sam looked over. "Nightmares."
"They happen to all of us." He smiled. "You look cute."
"Thank you but I already knew that."
"I meant holding him." Dean smiled and let himself fall asleep again. Sam watched them for a bit longer then went back to sleep now that his own nightmare was gone.
Xander looked up from his new workbook the next day, blinking at the silence. "No 'sic?"
"In a minute. Let me figure out which tape I want," Dean offered.
"I need a new copy of one. It's getting stretched with too much play."
Xander leaned forward. "Ask Giles."
"He has vinyls."
"That's pretty cool," Dean agreed. "We'll write him a letter, see if he'll copy some off for us." Xander beamed since he was being so helpful. "Bored?" Xander nodded. "It can be now and then in the car." Sam stiffened. "At least until Sammy has a vision." He pulled over to help him, Xander helping by rubbing his neck for him. "What was it?"
"Xander, don't touch that urn later," Sam moaned, looking back at him. Then at Dean. "He knows. He said Xander's just perfect."
Xander snorted. "Not know me."
"No, he doesn't and he won't get to either," Dean assured him. "Can we skip it or are others in danger?"
"He's going to put a possessed urn near us."
"So whenever it shows up we won't touch it," Dean agreed.
"Good." They looked back at Xander.
Who could only shrug. "Urns boring. Not comics."
"Good." They shared a look then Dean called his father. "The demon knows about him. He's going to try to get him possessed." He hung up.
"Grandma show up soon?" Xander asked with a happy grin.
"He's going to make you eat more tofu dogs," Dean said patiently.
"So? Like tofu. From near LA, Dean."
"Good point." He shook his head and pulled back onto the road. Wherever they ended up the urn would so that was fine. They could handle that threat.
Xander cooed. "Pretty urn but ugly people having sex inside," he said. Sam flinched and came over to carefully pick up the urn without letting his skin touch it. Dean poured holy water inside. Xander snorted and got something from his bag, tossing it down in there then patting Sam down until he found the lighter. Sam yelped when it lit on fire, kicking it outside. The urn melted as they watched and Xander beamed. "Demons stupid." He went back to his book. He looked up. "Anya's smarter than that," he called. "Stupid head!"
Dean looked at the kid. Then at Sammy. "That's clearly my mouth," he said dryly, grinning some.
"Yup." They went to check on his progress, Sam sitting down to help Xander learn how to read. John stomped in. "Saw the urn, Dad?" Sam asked.
"I saw a melted mess."
"Stupid demon. Anya's smarter." Xander pointed at a word. "Dog?" Sam nodded, smiling at him. "Hate reading."
"I know but you have to do it sometimes," Dean told him.
"We'll work on the issue so you like it better," Sam promised, getting a head shake and a skeptical look. "I promise, we can make it more fun."
Xander snorted. "School sucks." Dean cackled. "Does."
John looked at him. "You still have to graduate, Xander." Xander sighed but nodded. "Now, the urn?"
"It was possessed," Dean told him. "Xander lit it on fire."
Xander beamed. "He's dumb. He's also in the painting." He went back to reading. They all stared at the motel room's painting. He finally looked up then came over to climb up on the bed and poke a spot until the picture's eyes glowed yellow. "We're not Potters." John gave him a confused look. "Moving pictures."
"Oh, in the Harry Potter books, the paintings are slightly alive," Sam said, realizing it.
Dean looked at him. "Geek."
"Shut up, jerk."
"No, make me."
John sighed. "Boys!" They stopped. "Xander, can you get out of his way?"
Xander grinned. "He's still stupid. Should pee on him." He glared at the demon. "I'll tell Willow on you, make her do this to you too." The demon laughed. Xander hopped down and got out of the way. He realized he was only three, he couldn't fight demons at the moment. Sam, Dean, and John tried but the demon slipped away. Xander waved. "Have fun with the butt sex demons. Anya said they're fun," he called after him. John swatted him. "Ow!"
"Why? Smart is good against demons."
"Quipping does come naturally to you," Dean said dryly. "Now what?"
"We have salt wards and all that," Sam said.
Xander looked then at them. "Witchy things?" He leered. "Spells?"
Dean gave him a look. "That's right, your witches are a lesbian couple. They do *spells*?" he asked with a grin. Xander smirked and nodded. "Get to watch?" His father swatted him. "Hey!"
"Mind out of the gutter, he's only three. He doesn't need to know what his former friends did." They sighed and warded the room better. John got his own so he'd be closer. Apparently it was a family trip to South Dakota.
Xander looked up from his reading when the car stopped. "We here? Can I go potty?"
"Give us two minutes then you can go," Dean offered. They got out and Xander ran for the house. "Sorry," he called.
"That's not a public bathroom," an older man said, coming out and staring. "Why do you three have a baby?"
"Not a baby!" Xander yelled. "No diapers!" He came out. "I washed."
"Good," Sam said, checking his hands. "Thank you, Xander." Xander smirked at him. "It's still a good habit to get into." He looked at Bobby. "A dying wish made Dad a grandfather."
"Grandma not happy," Xander agreed.
Bobby stared then burst out laughing. "Oh, that's a good prank, boys."
"Not," Dean said, shaking his head with a smug look. "That's my son Xander."
Bobby stared then at him. "How?"
"Want the full story?" John asked. "I'm still processing and wanting to go beat the witch."
Xander looked at him. "Willow not bad."
"Bullshit," Dean told him. "The magic is taking over and it is. She might not be once she's out of the magic stuff."
Xander grimaced. "No coven, no teachers, nothing but Giles and demons."
"I know. We looked her up better," Sam told him.
Xander blinked. "Boo-boos?"
"They're handling her after Glory, Xander."
"Good." He looked at Bobby. Then he smirked. "Grandma's boyfriend?" John swatted him again. "Hey! Watch the hair!"
"That's your father's line," John said dryly, glaring down at him.
Bobby started to laugh again. "He's how old?"
"Three," Dean told him. He stared at his son then at Bobby. "If the possession's been exorcized but left a taint, will your DT catch them?" Dean asked.
Bobby considered it then nodded. "Could yeah, why?"
"He had two," Sam said. "Neither one fully left him."
"We can try again."
Xander growled. "Leave my people alone! Freddy said you're not really him." He stared them down. Bobby glared back. "Bring him back."
"Because it's less fun if I have to be bad," he said smugly. "You can test me later."
"Fine." They blinked at the flash of light that created two Bobbys then the first one left. He couldn't doubt that one's skills. He'd have to prepare for him.
Dean stared at his son then at John. "Trickster."
Bobby nodded. "Got me yesterday." He looked at the boy then at them. "I heard." They all smirked. "Yes, it'll catch him." He looked at the kid. "There's a devil's trap on the ceiling, kiddo." Xander beamed at that information, going to test it for himself. He shook his head. "How in the hell did you two make a medium with magic gifts?"
Dean gaped. "He does?"
"He does," Bobby agreed. "Needs shields too." John groaned. "I'll get someone local to come help." They all nodded, going to watch Xander test the edges of the devil's trap to see how far in he had to be before he was stuck. It turned out his head and most of his torso had to be in it but if it was just an arm, a leg, or anything else he could get free. Dean rescued him when he finally got stuck, letting him go play on the porch for now. Bobby got them all drinks and sat down to drink his own. "He okay?"
"He's doing good," Dean admitted. "It's a hard transition now and then. He went from Sammy's age to three thanks to his best friend with a magic addiction for nagging her."
John nodded. "He's handling it so far."
"Had a few nightmares," Sam added. "Nothing too horrible that we've heard."
John nodded. "So did you two at that age."
Xander leaned in. "Did hunt demons too you know." He went back to playing with his invisible friend. "Can I pet the hellbunny?" he called a minute later. "It's not growling."
"No," Bobby called.
"Fine. Shoo, bunny, before Freddy eats you." It growled and tried to pounce but John shot it. "Hey! Ears ringing," he complained, rubbing them.
"No! Need to sit on something harder. Butt's numb." John rolled his eyes, going back inside. Xander and his friend went to expend some energy in the yard, playing tag around the wrecked cars. It was cool to play with him.
Bobby came out to look then at them. "He has an invisible friend?"
"He has an invisible bear pooka friend," Sam said with a grin. "He had it the first childhood too. His ex said it faded when he was about nine."
"Wonderful. Will it hurt him?"
"It's been protecting him so far," Dean told him. "I'm hoping it keeps that up." He finished his water and put the glass down beside his foot. "Xander, play safely; no crawling inside things and no getting near the things that could fall over," he yelled.
"Thank you," Sam called. He sighed, finishing his water too. John too. They all knew it had holy water. Bobby was like that. "So, we're parents."
Bobby smirked. "He's a handful."
"He's a good kid most of the time, even if he does think Dad's a woman," Dean told him. John glared. He grinned back. "He even tried to feed him a tofu dog in punishment but Xander loaded one up and ate it."
"Even with Kimchee," Sam agreed.
Bobby shuddered. "Nasty stuff."
"He's from near LA," John told him. "One of the Sunnydale crew. Their witch did it."
"The blonde one?" he demanded.
"No, the other one," Dean told him. "Willow."
"Damn it. Too much power?"
"Magic addiction," Sam sighed. "He was nagging her after a memory spell. The slayer's mom protected him from her and made the wish as she was dying to keep protecting him." He got up to get a book he knew Bobby had, finding the spot he needed. "The current crisis out there." He let him see it and Bobby whimpered.
"And he's got part of the problem," Dean told him. "So we're really guarding the newest Winchester."
"Shit!" Xander yelped. They ran outside to find him aging then unaging then aging to almost a teenager then unaging. He stayed about six this time. He looked up. "I'm going to gut you, Willow," he yelled. "And I'm going to have more fun than Dracula would!" He aged down to a baby but Dean stepped closer and his protection amulets sent Xander back to his right age. He panted, leaning against Dean's side. "Ow," he said quietly.
"Let's get you into a bath," Dean soothed. "Bobby, can we?"
"Yeah, go for it." Dean took Xander into the bathroom while Sam got him some clothes and called someone. He came in after the call. "He okay?"
"He'll be fine and someone will gut her for this," Sam said firmly. "I called Cordelia," he said smugly to Dean.
"She'll do it and have the others help," he agreed, taking the clothes. He went back in to find Xander had drawn the curtains shut and was crying by what he heard. "Xander, need a moment or want company?" he asked. He had no idea how to handle this. John leaned in so he nodded. He and his father changed places.
John knelt with a held-in moan and opened the curtains, pulling the boy into a hug. "It's all right to be angry, hurt, and pissed, Xander," he said quietly. "I would be and it's normal."
"I want to hurt her," he said, looking at him.
"So do I. She has no right to be doing this to anyone, much less her best friend." He wiped his cheeks off. "It's hard. She won't be touching you again." Xander nodded, cleaning his face off with the washcloth. "In a few months, if she hasn't done anything else, you can go back to scream at her."
Xander looked at him. "No."
"That's your choice," he agreed. Xander smiled slightly. "Good boy. Now, are you still aching?" Xander nodded, pointing at his legs. "Dean used to get horrible growing pains too. Let's see what we can do about them." He worked on massaging out the cramps then stood up. "Do your hair too. You're sweaty." Xander got the shampoo after dunking his head.
"Let me," Sam said as he came in. He smiled and changed places. "Here, let me do it, Xander."
"I can. Did last time."
Sam stared at him. "Last time you had sucky parents. We're not." Xander gave him a look. "Dean went to blow something up so he doesn't take off for Sunnydale to kill her for doing that to you," he said. Xander slumped. Dean came in and gave Sam a shove so he got out of the way. "Sure, you two talk." He and his father left to talk to Bobby. "He'll be okay. It's a hard thing."
Bobby looked up. "Is he what she's looking for?"
"Rosenburg split it. He has a tiny bit of it," Sam said quietly. Bobby moaned. "We told Giles how to fix it."
"Good!" He looked him over. "The kid okay?"
"He'll be fine." John promised. "You are Bobby, right?" Bobby sighed and drank some of his holy water. "We'll head to Missouri tomorrow."
"Is she tracking him?"
"No. We talked to someone earlier and they said the crazy knights are after them now. They're handling it." That got a nod. "So they'll fix it and it'll be cool."
"Good." They watched as Dean came out carrying Xander and sat on the couch with him, letting him cuddle in. "He need some tylenol?"
"Nah, he's good, Bobby. Just tired. It took a lot out of him." He stroked his back, getting a sleepy hum. "Still just me, Xander."
"Hand him over, I want a cuddle too," Sam said.
"Told you he was girl like enough for even you, who was surrounded by girls," Dean teased. Xander snorted but let Sam take him to cuddle. "If it wasn't so important I'd go kick her ass," he said. "After they've defeated a hell god."
Xander shook his head. "They will."
"I called Cordelia. Yes, she will," Sam assured him.
Xander looked at him for a minute. "Are you evil? Is that why you wanted to cuddle me, because evil things like me?" Dean burst out laughing. Bobby too. John snickered.
Sam gave him a hug. "I'm only evil to Dean, Xander. You don't have to worry about me being evil to you unless I'm possessed."
"If you're sure. But if you get the urge to cuddle me for other reasons we'll tie you down until we can take the demon out of you too. Well, unless you've been vamped and then we'll just stake you to save ourselves and mourn you horribly because only Willow can do the soul rest...resto.... the putting it back in spell."
Bobby gaped. "She can?"
"She did it to Angel."
He moaned, holding his head. "That's a strong witch but screwing with the natural forces that way leads to the darker powers."
"Gypsies did it first. She just put it back. Then Angel went to hell."
John looked at him. "I heard about that."
"She couldn't beat him and kept letting him go," Xander defended. "He had already killed once in the group and had just tortured her watcher. He deserved it!"
"He did," John agreed. "I have no problem with you telling her that, Xander." Xander relaxed again, then moaned and held his leg. Sam worked on cramp with Dean holding him now. They watched as Xander aged a few years then stopped. He fell asleep and it was a normal one. John called this time. "Who did what?" he demanded. "I'm John, Dean and Sammy's father. Xander's just had another aging spurt." He listened then nodded. "That's reasonable. Thank you, miss." He hung up. "The other witch tried to undo it but that's as far as she could get it. They sent Willow off to a coven in England and the hell goddess is going down tonight."
Dean nodded. "Works for me." He looked at Bobby, who shrugged. "He didn't age too far. Maybe a few years."
"Missouri can help us get him shielded."
"There's a witch coming," Bobby promised. "Go put him down."
"He's got his hands in my hair," Dean told him. He shifted and the baby clutched. "Shh, just getting comfy, Xander. Not putting you down." The boy went back to sleep. Sam's phone beeped. "What's that?"
"From Cordelia." He opened it and read. Then he looked at Xander. "Think he's six or seven?"
"Probably about six I'd say," John said. "Why?"
"His appendix burst when he was seven."
"You'd make me see someone," Xander said quietly.
"You're right. If your appendix starts to hurt, we'd make you see someone," Dean agreed. He looked at him. "They didn't?"
"Snuck off to the ER. They knew me already but it popped while I was waiting."
John went outside to hit something then came back. "Xander, are your other parents still alive?" Xander shrugged. "Can we talk with them?"
"They probably don't realize I'm gone," he said, looking at him.
"Fine. We'll let the friends out there do it for a while."
"Not worth the overnight in jail," Xander told him. "Not that our cops would care." He put his head back down. "I'm fine. It doesn't hurt. Freddy, how old am I?" His invisible friend told him. He looked at John. "I'm six and a half."
"Good. It's a good age," John assured him. "Means you can be trusted to do more on your own."
"I did the last time," he said through a yawn. He put his head back down. "Can I nap?"
"You nap," Dean agreed, stroking his back. Xander gave him an odd look. "What? I'm still learning my way around this fatherhood thing. Get used to it. Even if I won't be the touchy feely girl Sammy is."
Xander shook his head, sliding off his lap. Sam picked him up. "I can nap."
"You don't have to, Xander. We can help with the nightmares," he said gently.
Xander got free and stared at them. "I remember the old stuff, guys. I know it's because of Joyce's wish."
"Not hardly," Dean snorted. "If it was just the wish, I'd let Sammy fuss, not do it myself." Xander slumped. "You're my son now, Xander. That makes you a Winchester. That means we're all going to protect you, help you, train you, and sometimes even fuss over you."
Xander looked at him. "Then why do I still have my own memories?"
"Because that more than anything will help protect you," John pointed out patiently. "Not like we don't hunt demons too, kid." Xander slumped. "It was easier when you couldn't reason, huh?" Xander nodded, grimacing. "Well, now you can. Joyce had her reasons for doing the wish and the wish demon had a good reason for picking us as your adoptive family. Now you're a Winchester by rebirth. We can find some sort of rebirth ritual if you want." Xander stared at him. "It might make it easier on you."
"You're all too nice."
"You haven't seen 'em fighting yet, kid," Bobby told him. "Sammy and John are the kings of having a go at each other over their stubborn hides." Dean nodded at that. "They can out-stubborn you and me and Dean and the rest of the world. The only thing that stops them is the world starting to slide into hell."
"That's in Sunnydale," Xander told him. John moaned. "Not my fault we had a hellmouth!"
"I thought that was Dean's wit," Sam said with a smirk for his brother.
"The ladies do say I have a hell of a mouth," he agreed dryly. He pulled Xander closer. "You're my son now, Xander. If the demon did it biologically that's fine. If it did it by adoption, so be it. You'll grow up to hunt demons or not, that's your choice." His father made a noise. "Dad, he's had five years of it already. If he wants out of the business I'll let him," he said, staring him down. He looked at the kid again. "Doesn't mean you won't be training like a hunter. With the way you and Sammy draw demons it'll help protect us all." The boy snorted and crossed his arms over his chest with a pout.
"Damned if Dean didn't have that exact same look on his face every time you told him he couldn't drive the car, John," Bobby said. John smiled and nodded.
"Spell," Xander reminded him.
"Didn't change you that much," Sam pointed out. "Made you family, not made you like us or you wouldn't have any of the old memories." He pulled Xander closer, kissing him on the forehead. "You're a Winchester, Xander. You can't get away from it. Even if we do have to do some sort of ritual adoption to make you feel more connected. Which we can. That's not an issue." He pulled him up between him and Dean. "Take a rest. You need it after earlier." He grinned. "This means I have some help fussing over Dean."
Xander looked at him then at Dean. "Are you sure he's not evil?"
"Nah, Bobby fed us holy water," Dean told him.
"Why?" he asked Bobby.
"It'll tell me the evil ones pretending to be humans fastest."
Xander considered it. "But there's whole legions of bad things that don't react and a few can possess people. Or they could be possessed like I was and I wouldn't have reacted." Bobby stared. "The hyena wouldn't have and the soldier was a chaos spell."
"We don't run into many of those here in South Dakota, Xander," Bobby told him.
Xander pointed to the north. "Ten miles that way is a preserve for those inhabited by a primal spirit."
"You looked it up?" Sam asked with a grin. "Maybe you're my son after all."
"It would explain some things," John said dryly.
Xander gave him a look. "If Sam's a demon magnet where did he get it from?"
John moaned, shaking his head. "We have no idea. Where did you get yours from?"
"I'm a born and bred hellmouth baby."
"Which would lead to the hellmouth tainting you but why were you one in town when everyone there has some?"
Xander shrugged. "Because I hunted with Buffy? Because my crappy original parents meant I was harder than the easy kids? Because I'll look hot in leather pants some year?" He yawned. "Maybe it's whatever gave me the stamina to keep up with Anya."
Dean blinked. "That's your last girl, right?" Xander grinned and nodded. "The one who used to be a vengeance demon?" Xander beamed and nodded while Bobby groaned. "He dated an Incan mummy. He dated Cordelia, who has a mouth worse than mine and a snark setting that's stuck on bitchy. Anya was supposed to be pretty nice."
"She didn't try to kill me," Xander quipped. "At least outside of bed." John and Bobby both gave him dirty looks. "How many women do you know that want at least five orgasms a night and if you don't deliver they complain about you in public to anyone who'll listen?" Someone knocked on the door and Xander looked. "It's a lady, Bobby, and she doesn't look happy."
"That happens sometimes." He went to talk to her. "Yes, ma'am? Need something from the junkyard?"
"You called for a member of our coven?" He let her inside. "What is going on?"
Xander looked over Dean's shoulder. "My best friend since I was this age the first time is a witch with a magic addiction. I nagged her about her addiction. Now I'm six and a half."
She blinked at him. "Excuse me?" she demanded.
He smirked. "Xander Harris. Formerly of Sunnydale. Willow Rosenburg's best friend." He gave her a dry look. "White Knight of Sunnydale." She went pale at that. "She's been playing with my age. I made it to ten earlier, then all the way down to toddler, then back up to this one then to a baby then back here. Plus there's the nasty hellmouth taint too. I do not want to make more work for them and I'll end up drawing every single bad thing within the county."
She burst out laughing. "Things like that don't happen, young man."
Xander looked up. "Tara!" She appeared and gave him a cuddle. "Thank you, Tara. We need help warding me."
"Yes you do. You're leaking energy," she said in his ear. She looked at the other witch. "Y...yo..you are?"
She blinked. "Where were you trained, girl?"
"At home. Her mother trained her," Xander told her. "Are you a chaos witch?"
She glared. "Not really."
"I ask because I've had the unfortunate run-in with Ethan Rayne a few times in my last life."
She blinked then gaped. "You have?" He and Tara both nodded. "Oh, darn!" She frowned. "You'll need someone stronger than I am."
"Ethan won't do it without a major favor," he said dryly. "Probably getting him free of the Initiative." They all gaped. He shrugged. "Giles sent him even though we knew. I still need shielded."
"And your mouth needs work," Sam said quietly.
Xander grinned at him. "Smartass is how we roll." Dean swatted him. "Sorry."
"Manners in front of women, Xander," Dean ordered.
Dean smirked at her. "He's my son now." Tara squeaked so he gave her a long look. "Don't approve?"
She leaned down. "Not yours. Fully. They mixed it," she said quietly. He moaned. She patted him on the head. "His other gifts are going to come out once the taint is suppressed."
"Figures," Dean said, looking at Sammy. "He's mixed. Ours?" he asked, pointing at Sam. She shrugged. "What can you tell, miss?"
"Not a lot. The hellmouth is trying to find him." She stroked over Xander's hair and looked at the witch. "We can work together. I know Xander very well."
"Willow's girlfriend," Xander said dryly. "Mine was Anyanka,"
The witch whimpered. "We'll do what we can." Tara nodded and they went to do what they needed to then got the boy and went to work on him while Sam stared.
Dean looked at the two older men. "His gifts were being held down by the hellmouth."
"With the taint coming off him, it'll start to come out," John said blandly. Dean nodded with a smirk. "Which is probably why he's a demon magnet. Who's the other parent?" Dean shrugged. "We should get that tested, just in case."
"I'm more than happy to be the dad, sir. If we need a break, you can watch him for a few weeks. Right?"
"That'll work for me," he agreed. He stood up to stretch. "Bobby, can we stick around tonight?"
"Of course." The other witch squeaked. He went to look. "Why is he green?"
"T...the key," Tara said quietly. She forced it back down and linked his shields into it. "There, better." He nodded, giving her a hug. He gave the other witch a shorter one. Then gave Tara another cuddle. She smiled. "Do the exercises, Xander." He nodded at that. "You don't want it to explode in frustration."
"That's my good nephew." She smiled and tweaked his nose. "I'll send cookies." She stood up and cleaned up their mess then helped the older witch up. "Thank you for your help."
She stared at her. "Some free advice, child. Get away from that town and that witch. If she's willing to hurt the one she said is like her brother, she'll hurt you."
"Memory. Spell," Xander said simply. Tara scowled. He stared back. "She did this to me because I was nagging about her magic addiction, Tara. She's already walked into magical girlfriend abuse. I don't want to see you hurt..." He groaned and grabbed his forehead, looking at her. "If you stay, you'll die by Warren's hand when he comes for Buffy. Willow will destroy the world. No one will be able to stop her when she does it out of grief." She fell to her knees. He hugged her. "Leave Sunnydale, Tara. There's good schools and other covens a lot of other places. She might know of a good one far away from your family," he said quietly.
"I know two or three," Sam said. "Including one at Stanford. I went to guard them a few nights during celebrations." He helped Tara up. "We'll help you find one if you want."
She nodded. "I should." He smiled. "You'll take good care of him or you'll be a toad for spell parts."
"Of course we will." He grinned and she pinched him on the arm. "I'll do my best to be a great uncle to him, Tara. Family is everything in our family. Especially to Dean." She nodded and looked at Xander. Then she disappeared. "We'll call her later."
Xander nodded. "Could help." He looked at the other witch, then he went inside to get some paper and a pencil, writing down her contact information. He brought it out. "Here."
She smiled. "I'll help her, child. Thank you." He nodded. "Do watch out for Ethan." She walked around the house to her car so she could tell the other girls. That one would need a lot of help.
Xander looked at Sam. "Those suck."
"They do," Sam agreed with a slight grin. "First one?"
Xander nodded. "Yeah. They're killing Cordelia; I don't know why the Powers want me to have them. You guys aren't considered Champions for the Light, right?"
"No, just hunters."
"Huh. Have to ask her later." He got handed Sam's phone. "Thanks." He called. "Cordy? Hi, Gunn. Ask Cordy if she got a reason why I'm having visions?" He did that and she said something back since she was getting stitched up. "Really?" He looked at his invisible friend. "Is that why you like me?" He nodded. "Huh, anything else I should know of?" He grinned at the pooka's remark. "Thanks, guys." He hung up and handed the phone back. "Freddy said I have to really work on control before my temper makes someone a frog too."
"Might be a good idea, yeah," Sam agreed dryly, smirking at him. "You can do them after PT." He walked him inside.
"He feels less evil at least," Bobby decided. Xander hugged him. "Thanks, kiddo."
"Welcome." He looked at John. "They said I have to train the gifts before I got frustrated."
"Probably a good idea. At that level it's all meditation."
"I know. I need books though. I hate books."
"We'll figure it out, Xander," Dean said, pulling him back up onto the couch. "You good? I heard the moan."
Dean stared at him. "You do?"
"Cordelia said some seers are gifted, some are cursed."
"That points more and more to them having mixed Sammy's blood in with yours when they did the switching," John said. Sam looked at him. "It does."
"It more points that my mother isn't anymore." He frowned at Sam. "We need to find my original birth certificate."
"I can do that." He grabbed his laptop and came back in to look it up. "Was your mother Glenda?"
"No." He leaned over to look. "The dirtbag got drunk once and talked about her. His first wife."
Sam tracked her back and found her. "Not listed anywhere but her high school. The family's not listed on any site that lists families with legacies. Though we are now." He got onto another site. "Ah, here we are." He smirked. "They made your mother Tara."
"That explains a lot. She does have some dream visions and she's a powerful witch. What site is that?"
"That site is the wish demon network site. Listing their last grantings." He let John see it. John moaned. "So, Dean, you magically knocked up the pure lesbian witch."
"It only took a look," he said dryly. "Every woman wants me."
Xander looked at him. "Not every woman. Cordy didn't." He smirked. "Clearly not the sort of geek she needed."
"Looked like she was sleeping with Angel to me," Sam retorted to stick up for Dean.
Xander looked at him. "I know, but after me, she went downhill. Hopefully she won't make him happy enough to lose his soul like Buffy did when she got broken in by him." They all stared at him. "Hey, she was dating one of the Initiative dweebs this last year," Xander offered. "Talk about putz. Even Spike would be better." He rolled his eyes.
"Your slayer dated a vampire?" John asked.
"Who's now the Chosen for the Powers That Be," Xander agreed smugly. "Took two years to get her into bed too."
John shook his head quickly. "Did you guys do anything normal?"
"Willow dated a bass player who ended up being bitten by his two year old werewolf nephew."
"Close enough," Dean decided.
Sam shook his head. "He lost his soul?"
"It has an out clause. If he has a moment of prefect happiness...." He grinned. "That's why Willow put it back."
"So, you're the normal one?" Sam asked with a smirk.
"In many ways according to the girls. Who all think they want me to be gay so the evil women leave me alone."
"If you're gay, you're gay," Dean assured him. "More women for me and evil ones for Sammy."
Xander looked at him. "Some year I'll be back to pleasing them like I did Anya."
"By then I'll be too old to be banging the young chicks," Dean said smugly. John gave him a look that probably should've made him at least quit grinning. "I will be by then. In ten or twelve years I won't be hitting on the college girls."
"In ten years maybe one of us will make Dad a legitimate grandfather."
Xander smirked but Bobby answered. "With your luck, it'll be girly little girls who love ponies and boy bands," the older guy said dryly. "Who thinks meat is evil and so is hunting."
"Girls like that do happen no matter what you do to stop them," Xander agreed with a grin for him.
"We'd have to fix it with boot camp," John told him. He looked at Bobby then at Xander again. "Not a vision, right?"
John reached for him to spank him but Xander ran off and hid behind Sam. Sam looked down at him with a grin. "Find a better pet name for Dad, Xander."
"Fine." He grinned. "I'm sure I can."
John growled. "I think someone needs a nap."
"Yeah, that sounds good," Bobby agreed. Xander pouted but Dean put him down for a nap and stayed with him. Bobby went to cackle outside at John being 'grandma'. Sam sat down to do some more research on Xander's old life. Though he did look up at the feel of magic going on. "Dean?" he called. "He okay?" No answer so he went up there, finding Xander surrounded by a glow. "Dad!" He came running up the stairs. "I felt magic."
"Looks like they're getting him with a spell." He tried to wake both boys but neither one would wake up. The glow slowly faded and John kept trying until Dean woke up. "Magic went off."
"Crap." He woke Xander, getting a sleepy blink. "Xander, some magic just went off. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine, Dad." He yawned and curled up on his chest. "Why are we worried?"
"There's been a lot of magic going on around you today, kiddo," Bobby said as he came in. He stared. "Xander, who am I?"
"Bobby. You've known Grandpa for years and years," he said quietly. "You were a favorite babysitter for Daddy and Uncle Sam."
Bobby sighed. The answer pointed at a memory spell. "Xander, do you know anyone named Anya or Buffy?" He slowly shook his head. "That's fine then. Go back to your nap, sweetheart. You need it." He nodded, drifting off again hugging his dad. "Memory spell," he said quietly once the boy was snoring.
Dean nodded. "Wonder if it was meant to help or hurt him."
John got the pad of paper Xander had used earlier, using a pencil he found to rub over the indents to get the number for Tara. "Tara, John Winchester. Something just happened to the boy." He listened then he sighed. "Why?" He nodded. "That was probably meant as a kindness then. Please, if you can." He hung up. "The local witches did it as a way to help the, to them, poor boy heal."
Sam just nodded. "Reversible?"
"No. Probably not. She's sealing him off from magic working on him for a bit."
"That's fine then." He went up to tell Dean, getting a nod. Then he came back down. "Bobby, are we still allowed to stay?"
"That's fine. He's a cute kid."
Sam smiled. "He is. Very cute. Wonder if the devil's trap would still work."
"Yup," Bobby assured him. "Does even on people who didn't know they'd been possessed." He went into the kitchen. "Anything he won't eat?"
"Not that I know of but he's a bottomless pit," John warned. Bobby smirked at that. "The first day I met him we went to a buffet. He had seven plates of food before we were done." Bobby gaped. "Adult plates. Dean sized plates." Bobby moaned. "When he smarted off to me I made him eat a tofu dog ten minutes later. He ordered it with everything, including kimchee, and wolfed it down too."
"Some boys are like that."
"I know. Dean took those moods. They're going to spend everything on feeding the boy."
Bobby shrugged. "It'll be fine, John. They'll be good dads. He might not be the hunter Dean and you are but he'll be good."
"He does PT before bed to wear him out," Sam said as he came in. "We'll work on the other weapons soon." He stole a bite of lettuce to nibble on. "We'll be fine, Dad. He'll be good for us. You can check in as often as you want." He walked off again, going back to his research. The group in Sunnydale apparently didn't handle too many spirit manifestations or things they used guns on. Dean came down. "He kick too hard?"
"No. I got my nap earlier." He looked at what he was reading. "How was he?"
"Not bad. Not trained, they didn't use weapons very often. I'm hoping some of his old training is now subconscious. If so we'll only need to remind his body of it."
"That's a good hope." Dean went up to check on him then came down the stairs again. "He still napping?"
"Yeah. He'll be down in about an hour. He bopped me like I'm a snooze button." He looked over Sam's shoulder then smirked. "We can definitely improve on that." He pushed his brother's head. "We have also got to get him some other clothes. The stuff that's loose from before is probably tight now."
"You have his trust fund card," Sam reminded him.
"Good point." He went up to get his son something to wear, ending up with one of his t- shirt that shrank in the wash and a pair of jeans that was now much too tight. "The growth spurt thing can suck," he said when his son grimaced. "We'll fix it in the morning on the way to Kansas, Xander."
"Okay." He got dressed and headed downstairs to pounce his grandfather, making him grunt but smile. "Got you."
"You did. Pretty soon we'll have to teach you to sneak too, Xander." He stroked over his hair. "You and your uncle both need a haircut too." Xander spit at that.
Dean looked then nodded. "You could use a trim." Xander spit at him too so he gave him a look and got a grin. "Keep it up. I can trim it for you."
"I'll be bald," he complained.
"Could work that way, yeah."
"Thank you." He walked into the kitchen to steal a bite of dinner. "Hey, Bobby, there a cheap place to get them both trimmed and a good place to get him clothes?"
"Thrift store won't be open tomorrow but the barber on tenth only charges five bucks."
"That could help. Thanks." He looked at the size of the pants Xander was wearing. "We'll get two sizes up so you have some growing room."
"Get three. Kids his age usually hit a good growth spurt within the next half a year."
"We'll see if they'll stay on," Dean agreed. "Good with you?"
"Can I unbutton them?"
"Sure," Dean agreed. Xander did with a sigh. "Bobby, when's dinner?"
"Then let's go fix that. Shouldn't take too long." He grabbed his wallet from Sam and headed out with his son to the local K-Mart. The lady coming out cooed and Xander blushed, grinning at her. Dean grinned too but she only cooed over the baby. He guessed that was fine. He found the kid's clearance section and got him pants that fit, plus underwear when he realized his son wasn't wearing any. That had to come first. Xander came out of the changing area dressed once Dean paid and he nodded. "Better. Sneakers." They went to find him some, finding the only pair they had in his size was pink. So instead he got boots like his. They checked out for the second time and headed back. He did look at the barber shop and it said they didn't take debit cards so he'd have to figure out what the PIN number for the card he guessed. Or find somewhere else soon. Maybe Missouri would know. They got back in time for dinner and John smirked at the boots. "It was that or pink sneakers."
"No, I don't think he'll like pink," John said. Bobby snickered at that. "Xander, have manners since we're visiting."
"Yes, sir." He sat down on the seat with the two phone books, grinning at Bobby. "I'm dressed. Even with undies."
"His last ones apparently ripped so he took them off," Dean said as he sat down. Sam snickered. "You did the same a few times."
"Mine wore out, not the same reason." Sam sat on Xander's other side. John and Bobby sat down. Xander reached for food but Sam gave him a look until Bobby said grace, then they loaded up his plate. He didn't like the broccoli salad but Dean ate it for him and he ate more beans instead. It went okay.
Missouri came out to meet the car. "That unholy thing," she started quietly.
Dean got out and backed her up. "It is not his fault his friend did that to him, Missouri," he hissed back, glaring at her. "Do not talk like that about my son." She backed up another step. "He is not unholy even if the town he was born in is. Xander is a good little boy most of the time."
"He reeks of bad magic."
"We had to lock his away because he was born on the hellmouth."
She swallowed. "Born?"
"Born, grew up there the first time, then his friend turned him into a child again and he's now my son. So get over it."
She nodded. "All I can feel is the taint."
"I don't care what you feel. He's got a memory spell blocking his old memories. He was a hunter before this. The person protecting him made a wish to make him my son and I'll be damned if you're going to hurt a baby. Especially mine!"
"No, I won't do that." She looked at the little boy then at him. "He's got power."
"Of course he does. We had to lock his away."
He looked back at Xander. "Do the shielding thing again, Xander." He concentrated and it went down. He looked at her, getting a nod. "We had two witches shielding him. He's only six."
"He has some major power."
"Which is why we're protecting him from everyone who'd use it."
"The demon knows."
"We know. It already tried to possess him." He gave her a look. "Now, are you done?"
"Fine. The boy can come inside." She headed inside.
Dean got Xander out of the car. "She's worried that you're leaking magic again," he said quietly.
"I'm not," he said in a near whine.
Dean shrugged. "We'll figure it out, kiddo." He put his own warding amulet on the boy and it went away. "That helped." Xander grinned, playing with it. "Don't lose it on me." That got a nod and they went inside. Missouri was in the kitchen. "Xander, this is Missouri Mosely."
He stared at her. "Hi." She smiled and leaned down to shake his hand. "You don't like me, do you?"
"I'm more worried that the gifts you have will bring someone looking, child."
He looked at Dean. "You said they got her last night."
"They did," he agreed. Missouri gave him an odd look. "They got the hell goddess that could've come after him last night."
She blinked then stared at him. She put a hand on his head to read him then stepped back. "More than that one wants him."
"Good thing he's my son, huh?" Dean asked with an evil grin.
"Very. Protect that one. Get him his own amulets. Watch out for the higher ones who'd want him and his powers."
Xander snorted, moving the hand off his head. "They come and Daddy will shoot them in the ass with rock salt. Then banish 'em."
She smiled. "Yes, he will, Xander."
He smirked at Sam. "Then you get to do stuff."
"That's right, I will." He gave him a cuddle. "I agree, you need a haircut." Xander sighed, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. He looked at Missouri, who was laughing. "He does. He had a growth spurt last night."
"He's adorable in a strange little boy way."
Xander stuck his tongue out. "I'm not a strange little boy. I'm an adorable little boy who make the girls flirt with him instead of Daddy."
"You did at the store," Dean agreed. He looked at her. "We're showing off the son."
"He's adorable." She gave him a cookie but Sam took it with a head shake. Xander made whining noises. "He can have one."
"He's very sensitive to sugar," Dean told her. He took it and handed it back. "If you bounce, you bounce in here." He nodded, nibbling on the cookie. "No breaking anything."
"I didn't mean to break the deer head at Bobby's."
"I know. So did he." He looked at her. "We need the beginning books to teach him control. Know anyone we can get those from? He knows the first two meditation exercises. He doesn't like to sit still that long."
She nodded. "I have a set." She went to her library to get them. Sam picked out another one. "That's a bit above his level."
"Chaos magic did it," he said quietly. "Plus he's got deeper gifts. I'd rather he learned how to harness them too." He looked at her. "Because I know you could tell."
"How did it get into him?" she asked quietly.
"The same way he's six. It got split."
"Wonderful." She took that book and handed over another one. "That's on chaos magic. The visualizations should work for him and you." He nodded his thanks, going to work on them with Xander. The boy was already a bit bouncy but he closed his eyes and did the visualization exercise while dancing around.
Dean smirked. "That's my boy," he said when he avoided the furniture. He looked at Missouri. "You done?"
She nodded. "I'll help you protect that little hellion."
He smirked. "He started out calling Dad Grandma." She cackled at that and Xander pouted at her. "Go back to it, Xander. Is it helping?"
"Some." He went back to it while playing with the amulet his father had put on him.
"We've got to get him his own," Sam said.
"I talked to Giles about that." She made squeaky noises. "What?" He smirked. "His mom's out there." He looked at him again. "He's having some made for him. A full set with anti-possession and anti-chaos magic ones specifically."
"Dad said he'd go pick them up." And beat Willow if she was around. Something like that needed a more experienced hand on the paddle.
"Even better," Sam agreed. "Think Tara's moving?" Xander pouted. "What?"
"Because things are dangerous where she is and we want her to move somewhere nicer and safer, Xander."
"Oh. Can we visit?"
"Sure." He grinned and Xander grinned back. The boy went back to dancing around while Sam talked him through another exercise. The boy's leaking magic was pulled back in and it was good. "Now, this one you can keep doing whenever you feel the magic leaking." He pulled him closer, between his knees. "Feel the difference from a few minutes ago?" Xander shook his head. He took off the amulet and handed it back to Dean. "Okay, do you feel the shiny stuff?"
"Kinda. It's kinda itchy now." He looked around, then at him. "It's all around."
"It is. This exercise it to keep yours in you and that other shiny stuff out. It'll help you keep up a permanent shield so we don't have a problem with it getting too friendly. Like stray animals, not all of them are nice and you don't want bitten. Got it?" Xander gave him a serious look but nodded. "So let's go back over that exercise again." Xander went over it again. "Do it again," he ordered. Xander started over and then grinned. "Feel where it's got a shield around you?" Xander nodded, beaming at Dean too. "Now, pull the shield in against you. Under your clothes, against your skin. Picture it like underwear only all over."
"Like Batman's suit?"
"Exactly," Dean agreed. "Just like that."
Xander closed his eyes and did the exercise again, picturing it that way. "Wow, no more itchy stuff." He hugged Sam then Dean. "That's so cool!" He hugged Missouri too. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Now, you need to do those a lot, that way it stays up. Pretty soon it'll stay up all the time but whenever you start to feel the itchy magic you need to do it again." He nodded at that and went to hug Sam for helping him stop the itchy feelings. Dean dropped his amulet back over his son's head, getting a hug from him. "He does need a haircut."
"Have to find somewhere that'll take his trust fund card," Dean told her.
She sighed, going to get him some scissors. "Here. Your daddy did yours often enough."
Dean grinned, taking the boy out back to trim his hair. It was nearer to a military cut when he was done because he goofed but the boy didn't mind. He took him to shower off the spare hair and shake out his clothes then got him redressed. It was good and the boy went to show Sam, who took the scissors to fix a few uneven spots. "You do it next time," he taunted.
Sam smirked. "I did before." He patted Xander. "Say thank you?"
"Thank you, Missouri."
"Welcome, Xander. Get another cookie." He cackled but did as she said. She had ordered. He nibbled it on the way out and came out to bounce around the room while his dad got tired of watching him.
"Dad fed him a candy bar so we made him babysit," Sam said with an evil smirk.
Missouri snickered. "I don't babysit. You two drove me nuts."
Xander looked at her. "You used to babysit Daddy and Uncle Sam?"
She nodded. "I did a few times."
"Wow. You don't look as old as Bobby is. You must've been nearly my age."
She smiled, pinching him on the cheek. "You're a charmer, little one." She straightened up. "Where to next?"
"Pastor Jim," Dean said. "I'm not sure if he's baptized or not so we'll make sure." Xander stared at him. "Yes, you."
"Because it'll help the demons stay off you."
"Oh, okay." He nodded and went back to dancing around. Dean and Sam shook their heads. Sam went to get another book for Xander to work on since he had so much energy. Dean relaxed for now. His son was better and doing fine. Things would be okay.
They watched as Xander ran into the church and went to find a bathroom. They followed more slowly, finding a curious looking priest. "He had juice an hour ago," Sam apologized.
"Is he needing help?"
"My son?" Dean asked. Jim gaped. "Long story."
"I heard that from your father." Dean smirked. "So that's the new grandchild. I thought he was younger."
"He was for a while," Sam said quietly. "He doesn't remember." Xander came out, bouncing around him. "Did you wash your hands?"
"Yup, but I can't do up the zipper. It's stuck."
"Okay." He knelt on one knee to do up his jeans. "There you go. Xander, this is Pastor Jim. He's a very old friend of the family too."
"Hi!" he said with a bright grin, waving at him. "Do you fight demons and monsters too?"
"That's good because one's on the car and Daddy didn't believe me. Freddy said it's trying to eat the tailpipe." Jim and Dean went to look. He grinned at Sam. "Freddy said we ran over it."
"That happens sometimes," he said dryly. "Do your exercises?"
"I did in the potty." He pouted. "I'm being good."
"You are. I just wanted to make sure, Xander." He stood up and walked him out there. Xander ran over to point and Jim found it with the holy water. Xander yelped when it hit him too. "That's strange. You didn't react at Bobby's." He took some and rubbed it over the same area. Only the one spot got another yelp. "Dean?" He came over to look. "I can feel a scar of some sort."
Dean closed his eyes, running his finger over it. Then he traced it in the dirt of the parking lot. Pastor Jim looked. "That marks him as a... Oh, no." He took the boy to look over.
"Xander, how did you get that scar?" Sam asked. "Ask Freddy if you don't know."
"Freddy, how did I get it?" he asked his invisible friend. He blinked. "Maybe you should tell Uncle Sam then."
The pooka appeared, making Jim flinch. "It's his invisible, protective friend," Dean said quietly, putting a hand on his arm. The pooka whispered in Sam's ear then Sam nodded and went inside to get something. "We okay?"
"Way back when, about '83, his mother did it."
"How?" Jim yelled.
Dean leaned closer to tell him in his ear, getting a nod. "So, doesn't really surprise us." He looked at the pooka. "Thank you for protecting him, Freddy. Why did you stop the last time?" It whispered something to him. "Oh. Okay. Let us know before you go this time?" The pooka nodded and went back to being invisible. He grinned at Jim. "Last time he learned how to protect himself from those things. He got too adult for a childhood friend."
"That makes sense." Sam came out to fix the spot on his wrist and the boy fell asleep. They watched, nothing else happened. Sam finished canceling the offering mark and then carried Xander inside. They got to work on his baptism. By the time they were done the boy was awake and watching them. The holy water didn't hurt him this time and it was better. Afterward they sat down to nibble lunch and talk to the boy. Jim was amused by him and his mouth of doom, which got him spanked by Sam twice and his dad once. But oh well, he was only six!
Dean watched Xander try to avoid doing pushups and sighed, getting down to do them with him. Their dad had to resort to this plenty of times. "It's important you do them, Xander."
"Because you have to be strong enough to fight back if the demons come for you," Sam told him.
"They come for you guys, not me."
"Yes, but some day they'll want you to start hunting them too. Then they'll start coming for you and you have to be ready," Sam explained. "This is so you can train to do what we do when you're older."
"Okay," he said, sounding depressed. "What if I want to be a race car driver or a fireman?"
"Then the training can still save your life and we'll talk about you going to do that when you're seventeen and old enough to make that decision," Dean told him. Xander beamed and gave him a hug before getting back to his evening PT. He finished up, went to take his evening shower, with a bit of help to get his back clean, then climbed into the bed made on the motel room's couch. They smiled once he was asleep.
"He'll have to make his own decision," Sam said quietly, looking at Dean.
"I know. He'll do what feels right for him. We'll have the sucker by then anyway."
"What are you going to do once we have that demon?"
Dean shrugged. "Still other evil bastards out there hurting people."
Dean looked at him. "Are you thinking college thoughts again?" Sam shrugged. "Then we'll see, right?"
"We'll see when it happens," Sam agreed quietly, smiling at him. "If it happens that way, you guys can come stay with me more often so I get my Xander time in."
"Sure, we'll do that, Sammy." He went to get ready for bed, then climbed in. "You nearly done?"
"I've got the screen backlit, go ahead and turn off the lights." Dean did that and Sam finished up his reading in the dark. This was some fascinating reading. This Watchers Council place was sucky in their research but they had a lot of wrong theories. He wrote Cordelia an email. She was a seer and he wanted to know what she knew about them. The Council only knew about ones who were gifted with visions from the Powers That Be. They said they were dangerous and could kill them but his visions were given to him by being born and the demon. So was it the same? He got back an email a bit later from Fred, who babbled nicely at him but gave him a lot of places to look up information since Cordelia had a migraine from one of hers. He sent back a 'hope she feels better soon' and a note about how Xander was doing, then he went to look up those sources online.
"Sammy, even you need sleep," Dean complained a few hours later. "Xander will keep you up tomorrow and I don't want to have to deal with the bitchy face."
Sam glared at him. "I do not have a bitchy face." He still saved what he was reading and got ready for bed. He could nap in the car when Xander did. He had to go over reading and stuff with him again anyway. That meant he'd be in the front seat between them for a while. Probably stealing Dean's candy so he bounced too.
A few months later Xander blinked at Freddy, who was babbling at him. "What do you mean Uncle Sam's going to have a w hopping vision soon and to stay in the car?" Dean pulled over and turned to look at him. "No he's not taking my uncle! I will gut the stupid thing! He has no right to take my Uncle Sam." He growled. "Fine, then he'll see which Winchester is the baddest of them all." His father tapped him on the head. "The demon wants Uncle Sammy. He's going to try to take him soon and it'll kill a lot of people. Possibly including him."
"No, we won't let it happen but I don't want you messing with the demon, Xander. He's dangerous."
"He wants me too," he reminded him.
"Which is why I want you safe."
"Grandpa's in the middle of Canada."
"Good point." He considered it. "When?"
"Hmm." He woke Sam up, getting a sleepy grunt. "Sammy, the demon's coming back for you."
"Fuck," Sam muttered, sitting up. "How do we know?"
"Freddy saw it trying to track you," Xander told him. "He's going to snatch you and kill a lot of people to make you do what he wants, but Daddy doesn't want to let him and I won't let him because you're a cool uncle and I'll be damned if that stupid old demon is going to get you. Or his daughter." He pouted, looking at Freddy. Then at them. "He won't get you."
"You're not getting near him," Sam ordered, staring him down.
"He wants me too."
"That's because he can hurt you worse and make us do things so we can save you," Dean reminded him.
Xander scowled. "Well he won't do it anyway! I said so!"
"Xander, sweetheart, we won't let him but you're still only six. We need to protect you," Sam pointed out.
Xander growled and stole his father's candy bar to eat, sulking in the back seat while Dean drove them onto the newest motel. Freddy was telling him how he could help. He would help! No stupid demon was *ever* going to touch his family again! Even if he had to do bad things to make sure of it.
Xander found where the demon was keeping Sam and led his father to it. Dean ran toward the town but Xander was a bit faster. He was also quieter. Being small did have some advantages. So did the seven Milky Ways Freddy had stolen for him. He found the demon and pounced with a growl, beating him as best he could.
"Xander!" Sam shouted, running to catch him. "Get off him before he possesses you!" Xander glared and his eyes glowed green, then down at the demon. "Xander! Dean! He's got green eyes!"
"Then it's not that demon." He came over and pulled the colt. "Xander, get off him so I can shoot him!"
Xander smirked back at him, then made a huffing noise before looking at the demon. He let out a hyena cackle and nibbled on his wrist until one spot bled. Then he put his bloody hand on the demon's chest. A portal started to form. A hand came through the portal. The demon shrieked when it touched him but Sam grabbed Xander and Dean shot the demon. The hand pulled the demon into the portal as it snapped shut.
"Shit," Dean said, coming over to bandage the small bleeding area. "What did you do?"
The boy sniffed him then grinned. "Pack."
"I know we're your pack. Can I have the boy back?" Sam asked. "I want to cuddle the boy, not the hyena." She retreated and Xander grabbed him to hold him as tightly as he could. "Shh, we have you, Xander. What did you do?"
"What Glory wanted to do." He stared at the spot then at him. "He deserves to go to the Old Ones to be punished for being a butt." He tried to shake his father off but Dean took his hand back and went back to bandaging it. "Fine."
Dean snapped and pulled Xander over to spank him. "That was an adult activity, Xander, and you should not have done that! It's dangerous and you're only six! You should not be in danger! I don't care if it helped but you will never do anything like that again!"
"Ease off, Dean," Sam ordered, taking the boy away from him. He looked down at Xander. "It was good, it saved me and a few others, but it was still dangerous. We'd die if we lost you to the demon." Xander sniffled. "Hey, we know you were running on instinct, but we had it." He gave him a hug. "Right, Dean?"
Dean sighed. "The colt would've killed the demon, Xander."
Xander sniffled, staring at him. "You hate me. I was only trying to save Uncle Sam."
"I don't hate you. I'm mad that you jumped into this fight when it could've killed you! We can't lose you too!"
Xander hugged his uncle. "I won't do it again."
"Shh, Xander. When you're older you can help us hunt demons. You're too little to do it right now. That's why we're training you."
"It was the right thing to do," he defended.
"Maybe but it still wrong because the demon could've hurt you a lot. Then what would we do without you?"
Xander ran off.
"Oh, no," Dean shouted, heading after him. "Come back here, Xander!" He caught him, picking him up to look at him. "That was the stupidest thing ever." He walked him back, finding another survivor was staring at his brother. "Dude, you're free. The demon's dead."
"He said only one could survive." He pulled a knife but Xander kicked him in the face, making him drop it. The guy screamed.
"Xander," Dean warned. "Even if he deserves it, don't. Not right now." He pulled Sam up. "C'mon." They headed out together. The guy tried to get Sam but Xander heard him and grabbed his father's normal gun, shooting him in the shoulder. Dean took it back with a growl at the man. "Leave, dude. March." The man whimpered. "You'll die out here alone." The man ran into the woods. They walked Xander back to the car. Dean sat Xander on the hood, staring at him, hands on either side of his son's butt. "You are six. You are not old enough to hunt demons. You are not old enough to get into a fight. You are not even old enough to be out of the car. At your age even I wasn't allowed out of the car and I'm a damn good hunter, son." He stared at him. "You knew you were supposed to stay in the car. You ran off anyway."
"I found him!"
"I don't care. The demon could have laid traps in the woods to get us. He could have killed you."
Dean's eyes narrowed. "You don't care?"
He wiped his eyes. "You don't love me," he sulked.
Dean stared at him for a minute. "If I didn't love you, I wouldn't be upset. I'd have let you go do stupid shit that would've gotten you killed. Do I usually do that?"
"No," he said quietly, looking at his lap.
"Then I guess I do give a damn about you." He made Xander look at him. "We're going to be talking more about this. You knew you were wrong to do it when you got out of the car. You know better than to jump a demon unless it's the last step to saving your own life. You let the possession out and it scared the crap out of us. You did magic that you have no idea about. Then you tried to run again!"
Xander sniffled. "I was saving Uncle Sam." He burst out crying. "He was going to use him to put lots and lots of demons out into the world and they'd all want to kill you too and I'd lose you when Uncle Sam died!" He saw a truck pull up and sniffled then hopped up to run over to him. "Grandpa!"
"Xander. What happened?"
"Xander went hyena and pounced the demon," Dean said. "Then he opened a spot on his wrist to create a portal to suck the demon into. I got off a shot before he got sucked in so he's dead. He's somewhere else."
"The Old Ones have him. Freddy said they'd punish him," he said quietly.
John looked at Xander then at Dean. "Do you remember being this age and jumping on someone who was about to be hit by a car?"
"Yeah. He still shouldn't have and you wailed on my ass forever. I only got a few good spanks in for him doing dangerous shit that could've gotten him killed."
"Can I go with you, Grandpa?" Xander asked.
"We'll talk about that later, Xander. C'mon, let's find a place to rest for the night. One that's quiet where we can talk." Xander pointed to the north. "What's that way?"
"Cabin. Freddy said no one lives there anymore. Witch used to but she's gone now."
John nodded. "We might be able to do that. How far?" Xander gave him a look. "How many minutes of driving?"
"Ten. Go to the well then turn left. Then hike."
"We can do that," Dean agreed. Them being at a motel tonight would get someone calling the cops at the argument they'd be having or about Xander's wrist. "Do you have a better bandage? I had to use my t-shirt."
"I can fix that up," John said, sitting Xander on his hood so he could get his first aid kit. He bandaged the injury. "What did that?"
"His teeth while he was hyena'd out," Sam said quietly, looking at Dean, who shrugged a bit. "Dad, can you? That way Dean has time to calm down?"
"Sure. You can ride with me, Xander." Xander nodded, letting his grandfather put him into the truck once the first aid kit was up. He looked at them. "Ten minutes, Dean. Any longer and he'll worry." He climbed in and started the truck, heading off into the night.
Dean turned and hit the hood of his car. "How could he do that?"
"It was probably instinctive. There's a reason they called him a white knight." They shared a look. "I agree with spanking him for doing dangerous things, but your temper's out of control and you were scaring him."
"No, you're right." He ran a hand over his hair. "I.... I still want to spank him," he said with a bitter chuckle.
"Me too." Dean looked at him. "What he did was so damn dangerous, Dean." That got a nod. "But Dad can help us sort this out and see that we're mad because we love him. Because he's terrified we don't."
Dean nodded. "I get that." He swallowed. "C'mon, we should head." They nodded and got in to head to wherever their father had parked. "You good?"
"I'm fine. Tired but okay. No big bruises or anything." Dean nodded, backing the car up to turn it around then heading off. "He did good," he said a minute later.
Dean glanced at him. "It was still dangerous. He could've died."
"I know." He patted him on the arm. "We'll talk and it'll be okay."
"No, I know. Xander will remember not to do stupid things like this again. We might've even made him a bit phobic about ghosts and hunting. I don't know. We'll have to see."
"So I guess you're heading back to college?"
"I don't know yet." He shrugged at his brother's look. "No idea." They pulled in next to the truck and locked the car up once they had their gear. They hiked up to the cabin, finding their father had started a fire and was talking to Xander while he checked him for injuries. He was salving a scratch or two on his arms. "Branch lashing?"
"Mostly. He fell on the way up here too. Got his knee pretty good." He looked at his boys then at Xander. "See, they're not mad at you, Xander. They're mad that you put yourself into danger that way. We'd be miserable if we lost you. Like I was when your grandmother died. I nearly died then. Your dad and I would die if we lost you."
Dean nodded. "He's right. What you did was dangerous and I spanked you because you could have died, Xander. The demon killed a lot of people." His son sniffled. "C'mere." He gave him a hug, carrying him outside to talk to him. The others could listen from inside. He stopped when he heard crunching, sending Xander inside. "Officer."
"Boys, there a problem? I saw your cars."
"Dad's truck broke down on the road. We had to push it into place. It's too dark to fiddle with tonight so we were going to hole up here until the morning."
"I can understand that. Why you boys out this way? Not going into that old town, right?"
Sam smiled as he leaned out, Xander hugging his leg. "We're on a family road trip, Officer. Going to a reunion on the west coast. We got a bit lost earlier."
"He okay? He looks a bit banged up."
"He tripped on the hike up here. Got his knee and his wrist," Dean said. "Anything other than a few branch scrapes, Xander?"
"No, dad." He looked at the officer, then frowned. "How long have you been dead?"
They all stared. The officer laughed. "I'm a protective one, son. You don't have to worry about me."
"That's good. It's been a bad night."
"I figured it has." He stared at the boy then behind him to the right. "You have a good protector there." He looked at the boy again. "Why else are you out here? We felt the town be disturbed."
"There was a demon stealing people," Dean said honestly. "Got one of us. It's gone now."
"Good. We don't like their sort. Heading on tomorrow?" Dean nodded. "That's fine. The old witch won't bother you guys none." He smiled at Xander. "Especially not you, little fella." He turned and walked off, fading back into the woods.
"He must be one of the ghosts from Cold Oak," John said, picking Xander up to check him over.
"I'm fine." He gave him a shove. "Not need fussed over. That's Uncle Sam's job."
"I taught him how to do it and I can do it to you too. You're my grandson." He finished checking him over, finding another scratch to salve. Sammy came in to put on a pot for soup. The well's water seemed clear enough when they tasted it. "Now, go talk to your dad." Xander sighed but headed out there. John looked at Sam, who shrugged. "He spank him?"
"I stepped in because he went off," he admitted quietly. "I knew he'd stop but he scared me, Dad."
"I would've too, son." He looked out there. Dean and Xander were sitting together sharpening Dean's pocket knife while they talked. "I remember doing that."
Sam smiled. "It does look familiar." He put one of the instant soup packages into the pot and stirred it a bit then let it simmer. "Should be pretty soon."
"Better than MREs."
"Much," Sam agreed. "And healthier too." John laughed at that. "We'll be fine. He's dead."
"You're going to go back to school?" John asked.
"I don't know yet," he said honestly. "I haven't decided."
John nodded. "Then we'll see what happens."
Dean leaned in the door. "If so, we've got to help him move. That way Xander can pick his own bed."
"Fine," Sam agreed with a small smile. He settled in to fiddle with the computer, doing a search for the demon. He found something interesting. "Hey, Dean, the demon has a bank account." Dean came in to look over his shoulder. "From Meg. Must've been what he took off someone."
"Or what he gathered over the years from his victims," John offered.
Xander came in. "Can we take it? Make it go to a hospital or something?"
"We might be able to do that," Sam admitted. "Hacking is not my biggest skill."
"We do know one," Dean said quietly. They shared a look and Dean checked his phone for a signal. Nothing. John's had one since he used a different carrier. He went to call Giles to see if he could get Willow to help them. It turned out she could, would, and was more than willing to help them move that money away from the demon and to a few different accounts. Splitting it among the four of them. Now Sam had a normal person fund, Dean had a fund for motel rooms so he didn't have to use Xander's, Xander had a better trust fund, and John had one for ammo. Dean looked at him. "If he's truly gone..."
"I don't know either."
"I say we hit Bobby's to celebrate," Sam decided.
"Could," he agreed. They all smirked and helped Xander help with dinner.
Bobby came out of the house when Xander ran inside. "What happened? He looks more banged up than you three do."
"The demon's dead," Dean said. "Xander pounced him."
Bobby moaned. "We spank him?"
"Nearly to death," Dean admitted. "Sammy stopped me and we've talked so he understands why he scared the shit outta us and why we were mad."
Bobby shook his head. "Now what?" They all shrugged. "Ah, no wonder you came back." Xander yelped so he went in to get him out of the Devils Trap again. "Go hug your Grandfather." He went to do that. Bobby shook his head, going back out. Xander was running around the truck daring his uncle to catch him. It was so cute! Dean snatched him and made the boy giggle as he tickled him. "Want some tea, boys?"
"Please," they agreed. They came inside and Dean let Xander play for a bit. He needed to wear out some energy. Being in the car all the time sucked when you were hyper. Xander came running in to hug Bobby a few minutes later then headed out back.
"Where are you going?" Bobby called.
"Freddy said there's a new hell bunny."
"Do not get near the hell bunny," Bobby called. "Get in here." He pouted but came back. "Thank you." He sent him back to his father's side, letting Sam cuddle him for now. He came out with the tea. "So, Sammy, Stanford again or somewhere else?"
"I haven't decided yet. It's the middle of the semester so I have at least a few weeks to figure that out."
Xander poked him. "Who'll do my school stuff with me if you go to school too?"
"That's another thing to figure out but Dean is very smart too and he can help you."
Xander looked at him. "You did school stuff too?"
"I did. I graduated high school."
"Wow. Then why can't you win against Uncle Sammy at Jeopardy?"
"Because Sammy has a huge, giant brain. That's why he's so tall."
"Oh. Well, I guess I'll be short."
"Xander, you're very smart," John told him. "I don't care who told you that you weren't. You are. Do not put yourself down again."
"Yes, Grandma." John tried to grab him but Xander beamed and danced off. "Ha ha! Can't catch me!" He ran outside again.
Dean smirked at his father. "So, mom." John swatted him. Bobby giggled. "He needs to get out more."
"We used to make a lot less miles when you two were young," John told him. "I was lucky to get six hours a day of driving." They both nodded they remembered that. "Every now and then I'd let you two out of the car to run around a parking lot."
"That's not a bad idea," Dean decided, looking at Sam, who shrugged. "Especially on the days that if you give him chocolate and a treadmill, he can power a house."
"I cannot believe Missouri sent him cookies."
"She wanted to torment you," John told him.
Bobby went to check his own candy stash, finding it missing. "Xander, did you steal the candy?" he called.
"Only two pieces," he called, leaning in the front door with a grin. "Two small peppermints."
Bobby looked at him. "The rest of the bag?"
"It's in the fridge."
Bobby looked then put it up onto a very high shelf. "No more for a while."
"Yes, sir." He headed off to bound around the outside some more. Maybe he shouldn't have snuck and ate his father's M&M's.
Sam and Dean stared outside at the start of the humming. "Looks like he found your stash in the glove box," Sam said.
"Maybe the one in the trunk too," Dean admitted. He leaned out. "No taunting the demons, Xander." He got an innocent look. "I mean it."
"Yes, Dad!" He sighed. Grownups were no fun sometimes.