It’s Funny Because It’s True

(c)2007 gekizetsu


Salvation ‘verse ficlet. Sarah and Dani talk over coffee, cookies, and Sam-John. 1321 words, G.



They planned it carefully. No girls, no husbands, never exactly hiding anything but still managing to avoid all the other humans in their lives for an hour or two. Dani was almost a month into maternity leave with another two to go, and she was already fairly bored except that she was working from home. Went she went back, she and Dean would orchestrate their office hours a little because the idea of daycare creeped Dean out. Dani wasn’t gung ho about it, but she didn’t have the same reservations that Dean seemed to. UC Davis had a small daycare center, and they could both check in on Sam-John, but Dean wanted him to be older before ‘strangers handled him’.

Sarah and Dani had been getting together at least once a week since about halfway through the pregnancy, two adopted Winchesters bonding over tales of everything they’d been and seen and done.

“They’d think it was cute,” Sarah had said months earlier. “All this traditional wife stuff.”

“They’ll think we’re talking about them,” Dani said.

“We are.”

“See?” Dani said. “Exactly. So, it’s none of their business. Dean, though, he would probably think we’re having a fling.”

They’d both paused at that.

“He would,” Sarah said. “And be thrilled.”

“You are gorgeous,” Dani said with a smile. “Maybe for his birthday.”

Sarah bit her tongue very hard to get past a too-ironic moment. “You’re hot enough for both of us. That’s all he can handle.”

This time Dani had Sam-John loaded into his carrier before Sarah got to the door. She held the door for Dani and said, “I heard baby weight doesn’t come off once you hit your forties.”

“Hey, well, screw you too,” Dani said, leaning in for a hug. “He’s asleep again. The car does it every time.”

“I’m going to hold him anyway,” Sarah said, taking the carrier and heading for the kitchen. “I have decaf this time, you want some?”

“I can have the real stuff today,” Dani said. “I put some of the good stuff aside for later so he won’t be mainlining caffeine before his dad teaches him to love it.” She’d chosen to breastfeed just like she had with Charlie, and the restrictions were getting old.

Coffee and cookies laid out, they sat in companionable silence for a minute or so while Sarah cuddled the slumbering baby. It had been too long since there’d been a baby to hold, a good ten years. Sarah had not-so-jokingly made comments about how one more wouldn’t hurt, but it was a little too late and she knew it. It was good enough to have Sam-John around.

There was an unspoken but well understood rule that he was not to be called Sammy. There was only one Sammy in the family, in the world, and that was that.

“I have to confess something before it kills me,” Dani said. “I have to tell somebody who’ll understand.”

Sarah tried to put on her most understanding face but was too curious to pull it off convincingly.

“This kid just doesn’t cry,” Dani said, staring at her son fondly. “Not like Charlie did, you know, like most babies do, good and loud. You remember how mad Charlie used to get.” She paused and turned her coffee cup between her hands. “Well, she still gets mad, but at least she doesn’t scream when she does.”

“Sometimes only Sam could calm her down,” Sarah said with a grin.

Dani grinned. “Still true. But all Sam-John does is make this sad little warbling noise. You’ll hear it sooner or later, and it’ll just break your heart.”

Sarah looked down at the heartbreaker in question and petted his dark hair. “The kind of cry that’ll make you want to give in to just about anything to make it better?”

“Worse,” Dani said. “That’s bad enough. But everytime he cries, Dean cries too.”

Sarah glanced up to find Dani blinking at her with brimming eyes.

“It’s probably the saddest thing I’ve ever seen,” Dani said. “He just can’t take it. And it’s one of those things where everybody just has to get over it, over time. Because, sometimes your kids are unhappy and you can’t fix it, and you can’t let it kill you. He’ll get older and we’ll all do our best not to spoil him so he doesn’t grow up to be an ass.”

Sarah had the urge to partake in something that women specialized in when conflicting emotions met head-on: a weepy giggle. Instead, she gave Dani an understanding half-smile and said, “Can you wait it out?”

Dani executed a pitch perfect weepy giggle. “I just try to separate my boys when it starts. They’ll both grow out of it. And it doesn’t happen often. So we’ll survive, right?”

Sam-John cracked his eyes open a little and shifted them around. Sarah waited to see what he would do or if he needed anything. There was a tiny, toothless yawn and some minor hand clenching, but then he settled for staring around blearily.

“Sure,” Sarah said. “I mean, he has to cry to strengthen his lungs. Just so long as he doesn’t do it in front of any of us, it’ll be fine. I’ll cry too.”

“Here’s the part where I mention that I don’t need to tell you not to ever let on that I told you this,” Dani said, watching Sam-John’s face.

Sarah bit her tongue again, remembering a time when she’d seen Dean do something much more vulnerable than cry. “He’ll do it in front of us sooner or later. Or maybe not, since the little bedbug is already a stoic.”

“We can’t put him down,” Dani said, fiddling with her cup again. “Charlie’s already spoiling him, like we did this just for her, like he belongs to her. I hate it that it’s all wonderful and terrible at the same time.”

“Like it’s not right to be so happy,” Sarah said. “Like maybe it’s too good to be true, and you got away with something, and maybe it’ll be gone any moment now.”

Dani nodded quickly without looking up. “Childish, huh?”

“Not when a guy who’s been dead for twenty years tries to strip the love of your life off his bones,” Sarah said. “When stuff like that happens out of nowhere, it seems easier for the world to take everything away.”

Dani smirked. “And if not for that, there might not have been a Sam-John.”

“We won’t tell him that part, though,” Sarah said.

“No, I stripped that page out of his baby-book. He’s a lot more than just life-affirming.” She paused. “Which is a lot. Suppose he’ll be like his dad?”

“He won’t be able to help it,” Sarah said. “But he’ll be his own sort of guy, too. I’m really hoping he’s a lot like Sam, and that it’ll drive Dean up the wall when he’s not busy being smitten.”

Sam-John made a humming sound that was too much like agreement to be ignored.

“Dean said there should always be a Sam in the family,” Dani said. “I agree.”

“The way everybody feels about the first Sam, I have this feeling that we’re going to be overrun with them,” Sarah said.

Dani rested her head on one hand. “Please don’t be talking about grandkids,” she said. “We’re so young. Dean gets the urge to clean guns when Charlie talks about cute boys at school.”

“Sam can’t wait until that very first teenage boy comes to the door,” Sarah said. “The older boys are going to make it very uncomfortable for the younger ones while the girls roll their eyes and apologize. It’s so....normal.”

“The girls are probably more dangerous than the boys, regardless of age,” Dani said.

“It’s funny because it’s true.”

Sam-John closed his eyes again and Sarah shifted him more comfortably into the crook of one elbow.

It was good to feel so lucky.

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