Link Part Two
Reagan’s playing some kind of mutant-doll-army game with Chester when Sam and Dean come into her room. Sam loiters against the wall as Dean sits on the bed, and Reagan instantly looks up, wide-eyed.
“I didn’t do it!” she protests. “Swear!”
Dean laughs. “You’re not in trouble, munchkin.”
Her face contorts into a confused expression. “What do you want?” she asks, looking between them suspiciously.
Sam starts it off, shifting from foot to foot. “You remember when Jamie from down the street got her little brother?”
Reagan’s eyes light up in recollection. “Ye-e-ah! Her mom got really big and then the baby came out of her tummy. Like that man in Alien!” She pantomimes something exploding from her chest, along with sound effects as Dean snickers.
“I thought we talked about letting her watch that kind of stuff,” Sam says sternly.
“Whatever, she loved it,” says Dean off-handedly. “Anyway, kiddo, looks like Jamie’s not gonna be the only big sister around.”
“What’a you talkin’ about?” Reagan asks.
“In a couple of months you’re going to have to worry about something coming out of me,” Sam clarifies. “Only it’ll look less like an alien and more like a baby sister.”
Reagan’s resulting shriek is loud enough to nearly burst Sam’s eardrum. “Really?” she squeals. “Can I see, can I see, can I see?!”
Dean’s smile is so smug that Sam can’t help but think about how he’s going to get back at him for being a self-satisfied bastard as he guides Reagan’s hand to the curve of his belly.
Dean gets the task of telling Mona about the baby, which turns out to go just as well as Sam expected it to.
Which is to say, not well at all.
Sure, after the look of surprise, she starts gushing, asking when it’s due and blabbering on about nurseries and siblinghood and all that jazz, but Sam can tell she’s putting on a front. Hell, Dean can tell, if Sam’s reading his stiff posture correctly. And it’s a surefire sign that Mona’s upset when she excuses herself to bed early.
“Dude, what’s up with her?” Dean asks.
Sam just sighs. “Sometimes you’re so freakin’ clueless,” he says and doesn’t elaborate when Dean pries.
When Sam heads downstairs sometime in the middle of the night, Mona’s sitting in the kitchen with a glass of wine like some cliché. Sam doesn’t know what to say, so he keeps quiet as he goes to the fridge to grab something to eat--cold pizza and peanut butter, which, yeah, gross, but it’s what Sam wants.
He’s about to take the plate into another room so he can finish and sneak back upstairs when Mona says something. Her voice is a little off, maybe indicating that this isn’t her first glass of wine, and Sam stops with his back to her.
“Sorry, what?” he asks, because he’s not sure he heard right.
“Congratulations,” she repeats, and Sam turns around so he can look at her in the dim light of the kitchen. “It’s great news.”
“Thanks,” he responds awkwardly.
“Coulda sworn Dean told me you didn’t want to have any more kids. Guess I was wrong,” Mona says, almost to herself. It seems like the booze has made her more courageous than before.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t want more kids,” Sam says quietly. “I didn’t want to be pregnant with one. There’s a difference.”
“I figured it was something like that,” Mona says.
Sam feels his eyes narrow of their own accord. “Something like what?”
She looks at him boldly and says, “Something selfish like that.”
Shaking his head incredulously, Sam responds, “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a man. It’s a little fucked up for me to be pregnant in the first place. And it doesn’t even matter now--because hey, I’m knocked up, and it wasn’t on accident. So I guess that throws a crimp in your theory.”
Mona just laughs, an odd empty sound, as she takes another sip of wine. “I guess I just don’t understand you then, Sam. You’re not like an other fertile I’ve ever met. I mean, Dean’s wanted another kid forever, and Reagan--she’s been so good with Jack-Jack--she would be such a great sister. It’s just you who didn’t want it. I dunno.”
Sam’s face contorts in what he’s sure is a stupid, confused expression. “I’m part of this family too, Mona. It took me a long time to become comfortable with becoming pregnant again.”
“Why did you then?” she says, her voice a little higher-pitched than normal. “Get pregnant on purpose? If you didn’t want it--and if it makes you miserable--I don’t get why you would.”
“Because it felt like the right thing to do,” Sam says lamely. He’s not sure how to put his justifications into words; they just feel like a jumble of words in his head that won’t pull together into something cohesive.
“But you shouldn’t do it out of obligation!” Mona says. “Why would you even do that? You and Dean are already out-of-sorts without you having something else to blame him for.”
“What are you even talking about?” Sam asks.
“You and Dean have never felt right,” she says, her eyes watery. “You just snip at him all the time, you belittle him, you don’t help him when he needs it. What kind of relationship is that? You’re his husband, and he’s such... he’s Dean. He deserves someone who wants to be with him.”
“I do,” Sam says, taken aback. “Jesus, Mona, I do wanna be with Dean. He’s mine.”
“You don’t act like it!” she exclaims. “You’re never happy to see him, you’re always taking him down a peg--”
“I am not,” Sam says. “You just don’t understand--that’s how Dean and I have always been.”
“That’s how Jackson always was too,” Mona says very softly. “He was always a bit too controlling. A little handsy. And I thought that was normal, and it’s not. I didn’t know until I met Dean. And I feel awful, loving him, when he still has you and I couldn’t make it work with Jackson, but I can’t help it.”
“I’m not hurting Dean,” Sam says, ignoring the way she’s finally stated the obvious with her declaration of love. “You just--that’s how we work. Mona, I’m sorry that Jackson was an asshole to you, but I’m not him. Dean and I are happy.”
“You’re happy,” she says. “But have you ever asked him?”
Sam hasn’t, and that sits like a stone in his stomach. “No, but I know,” he snaps.
“Okay,” she says, very quietly, and Sam knows she doesn’t believe him.
“Stay out of it,” Sam says harshly. “You don’t know anything about us. And he’s not leaving me for you, Mona, no matter how much you think he will once he figures out how good you’d be for him.”
“Okay,” she says again. “I’m sorry--I think I’ve overstepped.”
“Yeah, you have,” Sam says. “Maybe you should try not to do that next time.” He storms away before she can say anything else to upset him, his head swimming, but he hears her quiet sniffles all the same as he goes up the stairs.
The next couple of days are inarguably tense, enough so that even Dean picks up on it. At first, he just spends his time looking between them, but Dean’s never one to ignore the issue. He brings it up one night when Mona’s already in bed while Sam’s brushing his teeth--an ambush.
“Dude,” Dean starts, “what’s up with you and Mona?”
Sam takes longer than he needs to spitting out the toothpaste gunk before he answers. “What are you talking about?” he asks coolly
“Don’t do that coy shit with me,” Dean complains.
Sam sighs, low and deep in his chest. “What do you want me to say, Dean? She’s not happy I’m pregnant.”
“Jesus, Sam,” Dean groans. “Not this shit again.”
“Except she told me so,” Sam interjects angrily. “I stumbled upon her drinking wine in the kitchen, and she made it pretty obvious that she thinks I treat you like shit.”
“Come on, Sam,” Dean says. “Don’t you think you’re exaggerating a little?”
“Um, no,” Sam retorts. “She doesn’t like me, she’s definitely in love with you, and her friends want to string me up by my dick.”
“Now, that’s bullshit,” Dean interjects. “You got along fine with them during vacation.”
“When you were around,” Sam points out.
“Don’t you think you’re being a bit of a drama bitch here?” Dean asks exasperatedly.
Sam scowls. “No, Dean. I think I’m being rational considering the circumstances.”
“What is it that pisses you off so much?” Dean demands. “What, you think I’m gonna leave you for her? Is that it, Sam?”
Sam doesn’t, not really, but that leads to the question of why the situation annoys him so much, so instead he hedges, “She is exactly your type.”
“What?” Dean scoffs. “Stacked and hot? So are a million other girls I could be boning. But I’m still here.”
“She’s stacked, hot, and your best friend,” Sam says quietly.
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Dean says. “Not for this. I didn’t go to hell for her. I didn’t fight the fucking devil for her. I didn’t live through a zombie apocalypse and spray Leviathans for her, and I sure as hell didn’t knock her up and have to live with the fertile-freak-out.”
“I know,” Sam says miserably.
“Then what is it you’re freaking out about?” Dean asks.
“I don’t know,” Sam mumbles.
“Yeah, you do,” Dean prods. “You’re just too chicken shit to admit it.”
Sam’s quiet for a minute, has to be to gather his thoughts. “Sometimes I feel invisible in this house.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Dean comments.
“Well, fuck you, Dean! Maybe if you pretended you give a shit--”
“Dude, what, you think I don’t see you? You think I ignore you? I talk about you so much at work, the other guys tell me to shut the fuck up. I know when you’re pissing around like a little bitch and when you’re angry and when you’re tired.”
“But not when I’m pregnant,” Sam says angrily. “That took you four months.”
“Because you were avoiding the question,” Dean counters. “I must have asked you a million times what the fuck was wrong and you always said you were fine. I’m not a goddamn psychic.”
Sam sighs, but he can’t come up with anything to say. Dean is pacing the room now, looking more and more agitated. “Sam, you’re making drama all by yourself. It’s like the lack of hunting has finally caught up with you and you can’t just let it go.”
“It’s not easy sharing a house with someone who hates you and wants to mack on your brother slash whatever the fuck we’re calling ourselves these days,” Sam says.
“I’m not gonna kick her out, Sam,” says Dean steadily.
“Then you’d better have this talk with her too, because it can’t just go one way here.”
“Fine, whatever,” Dean says. “I’ll do it tomorrow. But you gotta try too, man.”
“I’ll give it a shot,” Sam sighs.
“‘Cause this is stupid. I feel like I’m livin’ in an atomic bomb around you two. And that’s without the kids constantly underfoot.”
“Think how I feel,” Sam grumbles. “I’m the one who’s in danger of bursting here.” He motions to his stomach in a self-deprecating way that makes Dean crack a small smile.
“Well, try not to, Sam. I like this room, and I don’t want to be cleaning up fucking bits of you if you blow up.”
“No promises,” Sam quips, and just like that, the argument is dropped for another day.
The next evening, Sam hangs out with Reagan while Dean has his heart-to-heart with Mona. He tries to eavesdrop the best he can, but Reagan has this idea in her head that she and Chester have to read a story to the baby, so he has a six-year old kneeling next to him, a book resting on his stomach, loudly reading while Chester snores in his ear. It’s not a great surprise that he doesn’t overhear anything, nor is he blown away by Dean’s reaction when he finally makes Reagan go to bed and heads to his room.
“You turn things into the biggest shitstorms when they don’t need to be, I swear,” Dean says breezily as he comes into the room. He looks relaxed and reassured, and that doesn’t make Sam feel any better.
“Oh?” Sam asks.
Dean raises an eyebrow. “Dude, she’s totally embarrassed. Says she didn’t know how to apologize.”
“Well, I’m shocked,” Sam says in a voice that completely betrays his sarcasm.
“Don’t be a dick,” Dean says flatly. “You know, she’s not exactly had the best summer here. And you being knocked up kinda hits the nail home that she’s been abandoned by her asshole boyfriend. So just be a little nicer, okay?”
“Whatever, Dean,” Sam says shortly. “I’mma go to bed--I’m exhausted.”
“Stop acting like a frosty bitch,” Dean complains. “God, I thought you had this whole thing about how you weren’t the wife in this relationship but you constantly prove yourself wrong.”
“Goodnight, Dean,” Sam says, pointedly turning the light out. He doesn’t have the patience for this conversation.
Predictably, when he runs into Mona the next morning, it’s awkward. He’s angry because he knows she lied point blank to Dean and he’s pissed at Dean for believing it so quickly. At the same time, he doesn’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that she’s fucked things up, so he smiles at her and stays at the kitchen table with his breakfast even though he kind of just wants to disappear and eat it somewhere else.
It doesn’t stop him from complaining to his friend after work though.
“Whoa,” Janice says, leaning back heavily in her chair. “Lord, you got some dumb-shit drama going on.”
Sam likes Janice, has done since he first met her. Janice’s a no-frills, give it to you straight kind of girl, and a regular at the library. She’s an expert in the weirdest of subjects and, best of all, a superb listener.
“Yeah, I know,” Sam says, feeling stupider by the minute. Hearing it all out like that made him feel petty, almost like a child. Like he was saying, Janice, Mona stole my toy again.
Janice doesn’t belittle Sam or drive that feeling further though. Just raises her eyebrow and continues, “First off, congrats on the baby. Never woulda expected that from you.”
And yeah, he and Janice might have had a spirited debate about the media-led feminization of male fertiles and how even if you were capable didn’t mean there should be an expectation for clown cars full of kids. Sam blushes despite himself. “I didn’t think I’d be going through it again, to be honest. It still sucks. I was hoping that I’d hyped it up, but no way. It’s a shit-storm.”
“Better you than me, honey,” Janice comments, raising her mug of weird-ass mountain root tea in a kind of salute. “And now on to the real issue, because damn, boy, what the hell is going on with you that you can’t freak out about your bellyful of life in peace?”
“Dean says I’m making drama,” Sam mutters to his decaf coffee.
“Dean probably isn’t wrong,” Janice says. “That doesn’t mean you are though. I knew Mona in high school. Girl was driven.”
“I can tell,” Sam says darkly.
“She’s probably just latched onto Dean after all that’s gone on,” Janice says sagely. “Stupid though, since it’s pretty obvious Dean’s not gonna leave you for her.”
“Don’t go storybook on me,” Sam complains. “Dean’s just as capable of going off with a nice pair of boobs as any other schmuck.”
“Okay, not storybook,” Janice says. “First off, you don’t believe that Dean’s gonna leave--that’s why you’re annoyed but not scared. Second off, he looks at you like all the time. Like some goddamn stalker. No way he’s getting out of whatever you two got goin’ on that easy.”
“You’re full of shit,” Sam says.
Janice just rolls her eyes and keeps talking. “You’re going about this the wrong way. By acting possessive and angry, you’re making Mona think she’s a threat when she’s not. All you gotta do is pretend you don’t give a crap. Then she’ll start backing off. Eventually.”
“Or she’ll think I’ve given up,” Sam points out.
“Nah,” Janice says, flapping a hand. “Start pretending you don’t care so much. It’ll work, I promise you. I know girls, bitch.”
It’s hard to take Janice’s words to heart, especially when Mona doesn’t ever come out and say she was out of line for anything, but Sam tries. It’s hard enough to deal with the fact that he’s beginning to look less fat and more pregnant day after day than it is to spend time thinking about how much she gets on his nerves.
Case in point: he stops fitting into his clothes and has to go on an excursion to find something that actually fits, which is no mean feat, considering he’s about a foot taller than most male fertiles. Eventually he has to give up and buy shit online, pants with the damn elastic, the same t-shirt in five different colors, big enough to stretch. He gets some oversize flannel cheap and starts draping himself in it, looking sloppy but at least nothing like the trendy fertile models he sees in the stupid magazines that turn up from time to time.
And then there’s the whole getting shit out of storage game to actually, y’know, get ready for the screaming, shitting baby that’s on its way. Turns out Sam and Dean aren’t the best at storing things, because half of what they salvage from the attic is either a moth-eaten biohazard or broken. The local resale shop owners become real friendly with them in a real short time. And it’s not like Sam can skimp on the whole nesting thing, because Mona’s prepared to do it more than enough for three people, considering Dean’s not in on it either. She’s moved on from the melancholy of learning about Sam’s baby-belly to acting like she thinks that Sam’s a surrogate for her and Dean.
Fuck yeah is it frustrating, but Sam’s still trying his hardest not to let it get to him.
Dean spends one miserable week in early December sick with the flu, which turns Mona into the most annoying nursemaid that Sam has ever known. She’s constantly flitting around, making sure he doesn’t need anything, changing sheets, and it’s so completely different from how anyone’s acted around them before that it almost makes Sam uncomfortable. He comes home from work one day and is accosted before he can even make it ten steps into the house.
“You need to convince Dean to go to the hospital,” Mona says, looking frazzled.
“What now?” Sam asks, kicking his shoes off so they don’t leave puddles.
“He hasn’t kept anything down all day, and I think he’s dehydrated. We need to get him to the ER before he gets sicker, and he won’t listen to me.”
Sam just barely resists himself from rolling his eyes; unless something’s broken or falling off, there’s no way Dean’s going to ever check himself in voluntarily to the hospital. He would tell Mona as such but the stiff way she’s holding herself suggests she’s not in the mood to listen.
“I’ll go talk to him,” Sam says, changing course so he can head upstairs. Mona follows him doggedly to where Reagan is standing guard with Chester outside Sam’s room.
“Dad’s sick,” she informs Sam gravely.
“So I hear,” Sam says. “Don’t worry. He’s just being a big baby.”
“I heard that,” Dean calls weakly from behind the door, and Sam takes that as his cue to gently step over Reagan and Chester and go inside the room, shutting the door behind him.
“Dude, Mona’s outside having a seizure,” Sam says, skirting the grossly large pile of used Kleenex. “Are you really dying in here or do I have to call off the ambulance?”
“Please tell me she didn’t call 911,” Dean groans from somewhere under a pile of blankets.
“She’s gonna if you don’t man up and stop acting like a little bitch with the flu,” Sam informs him.
“You know how to take care of me,” Dean whines. “Don’t let her take me to the goddamn ER.”
“You’re a giant baby,” Sam says. “I’ll be back.”
“If you have paramedics with you, I will shoot you in the foot with my glock,” Dean says. “Don’t think I don’t have it hiding under my pillows.”
“Noted,” Sam says.
“Well?” Mona demands when he gets out, hands on her hips, tapping her foot in a worried manner.
“Yeah, no,” Sam says. “Good luck trying to get him out of bed without a SWAT team. But I have something I can try before he wastes away in there.”
“Dad’s not gonna die, is he?” Reagan asks, her lower lip quivering.
“It’ll take more than the flu to take down dad,” Sam tells her. “Here, come on. I could use your help in the kitchen.”
“He can’t keep anything down, Sam. He won’t even try to eat,” Mona says.
“I have a few tricks up my sleeve,” Sam says, arching with his hands on his lower back to relieve some of the pain that’s settled there from the ball full of baby he has sitting on his bladder. Once he’s back downstairs, Mona’s in their room again, no doubt trying to convince Dean to get up and to the hospital. Sam decides to ignore her in lieu of grabbing the plastic bag he’d set down when he’d walked in the door.
It takes some maneuvering with Reagan underfoot, but he eventually has what he needs to go back upstairs: some tomato rice soup, a handful of no-salt crackers because Dean whines when his chapped lips sting, and a glass of flat ginger ale. Using his belly as a stabilizer, he slowly makes his way back upstairs.
“If you spill this on the bed,” Sam says threateningly, “I’m going to make you sleep outside.”
“Sam,” Mona says impatiently, “that’s too heavy. He won’t keep it down.” Besides her, Dean is making grabby hands, and Sam raises his eyebrow.
“I take back anything bad I ever said to you,” Dean says. “Where’d you get that?”
“Crackers from the grocery store,” Sam supplies, “ginger ale’s been going flat on my desk all day, and I bribed Mrs. Richards at the cafe to make some soup yesterday.”
“You are a godsend, Sam,” Dean says seriously and starts to slowly eat the food. Sam just shrugs and leaves, needs to feed the kid before Chester ends up with a soup-bowl hat when she tries to get some herself, and when he comes back half an hour later, there’s only a couple of crackers left and Dean looks marginally better. Mona, of course, has a resentful look on her face, which makes things that much sweeter.
“You are so easy,” Sam comments.
“Yeah, whatever,” Dean says. “Get in here.” He pats Sam’s side of the bed with a pathetic look on his face.
“Did something short-circuit in your brain?” Sam asks. “Really, Dean? You want to cuddle?”
“It’ll make me feel better,” Dean whines.
“Reagan’s still up,” Sam says. “I need to make sure her homework’s done and get her ready for bed. And Jack-Jack’s still sacked out in front of the TV.”
“Mona can do that,” Dean says, turning pleading eyes her way.
“Of course,” Mona says. “That’s not a problem.”
“C’mon, don’t leave me hanging,” Dean says.
“Jesus Christ,” Sam complains. “Hold on.” He grabs his pajama pants from the floor and steals into the bathroom to change. By the time he’s back, Mona’s disappeared and Dean is half passed out already. Sam could sneak away too, but he’s damn tired, so instead he slips into the bed. Dean immediately curls around him, resting one of his hands on the swell of Sam’s stomach. He’s like a fetishist with the thing.
“Thank God,” Dean moans. “It’s so fucking cold in here and Mona’s electric blanket smells like shit.”
“I see,” Sam says, shoving a hand under the pillow. “You’re just using me as a human furnace.”
“You love it, bitch,” Dean says.
“Jerk,” Sam yawns, and he lets the off-beat cadence of Dean’s breaths soothe him to sleep. When he wakes up the next morning, it’s to Dean asking for a get-well-soon blowjob, which is a big honking sign that Sam still knows how to coax his brother out of being sick.
So, yeah, Sam’s definitely counting this one as a win.
Things don’t come to a head until January with Mona. She’s been getting steadily quieter, scarcer around Sam, and one day Sam comes home and her car isn’t in the driveway. It doesn’t strike him as weird until he gets inside and finds Reagan alone in the front hall reading with Dean in the kitchen nursing a glass of whiskey.
“Really, Dean?” Sam asks, eyeing the whiskey and the corresponding half-empty bottle. “It’s barely six.”
“Mona left,” Dean says morosely, still clear-tongued enough to suggest he’s not three sheets to the wind.
This surprises Sam, and he gingerly settles into a chair, careful to not catch his fucking enormous belly on the side of the table. “Left as in gone? As in not coming back here tonight?”
“Left as in has a house across town that she got cheap,” Dean informs him.
“And what, you’re upset? You miss her already? Or do you miss being her knight in armor?” Sam asks shrewdly. He kind of wants to ask if Dean is showing some latent more-than-friends feelings for her but can tell that it won’t go over very well.
“She asked me to come with her,” Dean says dully.
“What?” Sam blurts, flabbergasted.
“Go with her,” Dean elaborates. “Take Reagan and leave you and leave the house and live with her instead.”
“Oh,” Sam says and then, “You’re not. Are you?”
“Don’t be a shithead, Sam,” Dean says tiredly. “Of course not.”
“Just making sure,” Sam says slowly.
“I’m not stupid, Sam,” Dean says, sighing. “I thought she was just gonna get over it. This whatever-it-was crush on me.”
“Seriously?” Sam asks. “All those fights and you knew?”
“She didn’t love me,” Dean spits self-deprecatingly. “She just thought she did. She was--whaddya call it--projecting.”
“Pretty much the same thing,” Sam points out.
“In any case, I don’t think I’ll be seeing much of her,” Dean says, taking another healthy gulp of his drink. “Said she needed time to process. Whatever the fuck that means.”
“I’m sorry about this shitstorm,” Sam says evenly. “But you’re not going to drink yourself into a stupor over it. Eventually she’ll realize that she was being stupid and she’ll come back, so you’re angsting like a little bitch for nothing. Man the fuck up while I hide this.”
“You sound sure,” Dean grumbles.
“I know everything,” Sam says, getting up just as awkwardly as he sat down. The whiskey misses a trip down the sink only because Sam recognizes that as a waste and instead gets thrown under all the dirty laundry--Dean won’t touch that until Sam practically forces him to. When he gets back to the kitchen, Dean’s still looking into his glass like some sort of lost puppy, and Sam can’t help but shake his head.
“What am I gonna do with you?” Sam sighs.
“Screw you, bitch,” Dean bites back, but then his shoulders slump.
“Come on, Dean, you’re acting like it’s the end of the world or something,” Sam cajoles. “And we’ve seen the end of the world.”
Dean laughs, a bitter sound that makes Sam’s stomach knot. He hasn’t heard a laugh like that from Dean in a long time. “You shoulda heard what she said about you.”
“I don’t care,” Sam says instantly. “Why should I care? I told you months ago she had a problem with me. It doesn’t matter unless you make it matter. What, you think I’mma go cry in the bathroom because one of your friends doesn’t like how I treat you? Newsflash, stud, half of your girlfriends hated me when we were growing up. But I didn’t give a shit because in the end, I was the one you were gonna stick with.”
Dean rolls his eyes, but he looks a little calmer, less angry. “You were such a little jerk back then.”
“I’m still one now ‘cause I’m not gonna let you whine around the house all day. Get up and make me dinner. Your kid’s been jumping on my bladder all day and I’m starving.”
“Pushy little girl,” Dean mutters, but he stands up.
“I’m not the one who was crying at the table, Dean,” Sam says smoothly. When Dean answers with a one-fingered salute, Sam can’t help but smile; that’s definitely more like it.
Sam goes into labor maybe ninety minutes into his shift at work, though he doesn’t realize it for a couple of hours. There’s no sudden gush of birthing fluid like women have; instead, his back starts aching a little more than usual before progressing into a full-blown pain that radiates up and down his spine. When it starts coming in bursts instead of a steady hurt, Sam finally realizes what it is and, very calmly, calls Dean at work.
It takes ten minutes of being on hold while Dean is paged before he gets a rather rushed, “‘Lo?”
“Dean,” Sam starts but then pauses to grit his teeth as another wave of pain washes over him.
“Dude, can this wait?” Dean asks, sounding in a hurry. “The production manager is riding our ass on this big shipment and we’ve already had too much scrap today as is--”
“Unless you want to come home to find me cutting this baby out of me with a butcher knife, no, it can’t wait,” Sam snaps. “I can’t drive like this; it’s hard enough being fat without having to deal with goddamn contractions. So if you could get your ass down here, I’d really appreciate it.”
“Oh,” Dean says, and then Sam’s greeted with the dial tone. He settles back in the chair, ignores the head librarian’s suggestions about what she can do to help, and counts breaths until he hears Dean’s voice from outside the circulation desk.
Dean is lackadaisical about the whole thing, driving normally, no constant barrage of questions. He cackles when Sam is sequestered to a wheelchair until they can get a room and makes lewd jokes about the lube on the examination counter as the doctors prep for the c-section.
Sam is maybe a little more aware this time around, less scared and more excited. Being pregnant sucks, and this is definitely the last time he’ll have to deal with it. Yeah, two years of diapers and a screaming baby don’t sound that great, but at least he won’t have to deal with it with something growing inside of him.
Dean is the first to see her when they yank her out of Sam’s guts, but Sam sure as hell hears her.
“Normal, dude,” Dean says. “Ten fingers, ten toes, no extra heads. You did good.”
“Thank fuck,” Sam says. “Lemme see her.”
She’s red and squashed, not completely cleaned, with a smushed face and a little tuft of matted hair. She’s still gorgeous.
“You sure you want to name her Fiona?” Dean asks skeptically. “Girl looks nothing like Emmy Rossum.”
“That’s not the point,” Sam says tiredly. They already had this argument after Sam settled on the name after one sleepless night spent catching up on Shameless. Sam just likes it, okay? “You named Reagan, I get this one.”
“Fine, fine,” Dean says. “But remember, no buyer’s remorse. She’s gonna be stuck with this name for the rest of her life.”
“Reagan is named after the Exorcist girl,” Sam points out. “I’m sure this one will be fine.”
“Whatever,” Dean sighs, wrapping his arms tighter around Fiona as he watches the doctor stitch Sam back up.
Sam expects Reagan to show some sort of sibling rivalry when they bring Fiona home, or, at the very least, grow bored of her within an hour, but he’s sorely mistaken. Everything Reagan does, she wants to do with her sister. Sam thinks it’s unnatural and tells Dean as such as they supervise Reagan holding Fiona from the other room.
“Dude, don’t rock the boat,” Dean warns. “They’ll be fighting soon enough.”
It’s kind of an adjustment for Sam to be the one who stays home this time around. He has three months off of work, but things don’t get as boring as he expects them to. He’s mostly too tired to notice, even though Dean unceremoniously gets kicked out of bed during the night for half of the feedings.
The next time Sam sees Mona, it’s a blustery day in mid-May and it’s more of a surprise than anything else. Reagan had been jumping off the walls at home, and Sam had appeased her with a trip to the park, figuring it was an easier solution than slowly going crazy supervising her mad adventures inside. He’s on a bench with Fi, who’s fussing a little in her stroller, so he’s mostly paying attention to her moreso than to the person who sits next to him. That is, until she speaks and Sam has that sudden realization of who she is.
He has to struggle to keep an impassive face on, but he manages it in the end; he’s not as angry with her anymore as he was, feels sympathy more than anything else. “Mona,” he says evenly.
She smiles a little, shyly, like she doesn’t think it will be accepted and gestures towards the stroller. “She’s adorable,” she comments, a little quietly, but truthfully enough that Sam can’t help but take it at face value. He still feels out of place in a park with a stroller, and being caught like this is, well, almost embarrassing, Dean says it’s all in his head, but Sam feels like a little housewife sometimes, and sitting in the park like this definitely brings that point home.
In any case, Sam shakes off his stupid insecurities and manages a smile of his own, though his is half-fake and strained to say the least. “Thanks,” he says awkwardly. It’s like she’s a stranger again, not the woman who spent six months in his house, and he doesn’t know how to talk to her.
It’s quiet for a couple minutes, and Sam almost thinks that’ll be the end of it when she speaks up again, her words falling out of her mouth in a tumble. “I’m sorry. For everything that happened this year.”
Sam just looks at her, doesn’t have anything to say that won’t come out mean or patronizing, and she blushes a furious red and continues with her apology. “I know I said some awful things. I just... I don’t know what to say. You know Dean. You know how he is. He just treated me--so different than Jackson. Jackson was my first everything, and you know how he got. Dean actually paid attention to me, didn’t go out of his way to hurt me ...”
“Yeah, I know Dean,” Sam says, almost bitterly.
“And you don’t treat each other like, I don’t know, like a couple,” Mona continues desperately. “I don’t know--I tricked myself into thinking you were in the same kind of relationship that I was in with Jackson. But you aren’t; I always knew it in the back of my head even though I ignored it. And I got obsessed or something with getting Dean away from you like he got me away from Jackson, and it was just such complete bullshit.”
“Jesus, Mona,” Sam says, pushing a hand through his hair. “I don’t know what you want me to say to that.”
“Nothing,” she follows quickly. “It was my issue, and after I stepped away, after Dean told me to go, I figured it out. I just needed some space. And I’ve been going crazy--I miss you guys. And I know I fucked up, I know it. I’m so sorry.”
She just looks at him, with a particularly upset look on her face that makes Sam sigh deeply, asking, “What do you want, Mona?”
“Nothing,” she says, but Sam’s not buying that, looking at her with a raised eyebrow until she breaks. “Dean won’t look at me anymore, even if we’re working the same machine. He barely talks to me.”
“Dean is pretty much the king at holding grudges,” Sam tells her, not unkindly.
“I don’t want him to be mad at me anymore,” she says miserably, and Sam sighs again.
“This is stupid,” he says. “This whole thing was completely stupid and shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
“I know,” she says. “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”
“I’ll talk to him,” he tells her. “Not promising anything, but I’ll talk to him.”
Her face instantly lights up. “Thank you,” she says. “That’s really great of you. I was kinda scared you were just gonna laugh at me for trying to talk to you.”
“I’m sick of this being an issue,” Sam says. “There are a million more things that I should care about, and this got old real quick. If you think you can be friends with Dean again without giving me shit, that just means I get to stop having him mope around the house without you to talk to. He’s drivin’ me nuts.”
Mona just kind of looks at him, an indicipherable look on her face. “You know, I really did have you wrong, Sam,” she says, ruefully. “You're a good guy.”
“Thanks, I guess,” Sam says, turning away from her to make sure Reagan hasn’t gone rogue on the swings.
“I’ll see you around,” she responds, standing up. “Thanks for listening.”
“Take care of yourself,” Sam says, meaning it, and she smiles a little before walking away towards Jack-Jack, who’s hanging from the monkey bars.
It takes a while, even after Sam told Dean in no uncertain terms that he didn’t care, for Dean to get back on speaking terms with Mona. It’s still not fixed, not by a long shot, but she comes over sometimes, is always pleasant to Sam, cooing over the baby and feeding them all the unhealthy food she can get her hands on. It smooths Dean’s temper, having her around, makes him less apt to be a child about stupid things, which is probably the best part for Sam; he has an actual baby to take care of that kind of stuff.
Castiel pops in more than ever, obviously taken with Fi. He never imparts anything about her, no destiny-crap or angelic mumblings, but she loves him, will stop fussing the minute he walks in the door. He’s kind of like a celestial babysitter, one that likes to bake and play with Reagan, still serious-faced all the time as she shows him how to dress a Barbie. Sometimes it’s almost like tongue-in-cheek comedy watching them together.
So, yeah, Sam kind of lives in a sitcom now. It’s no biggie--he’s actually kind of … relieved? He feels like he fits, which is the most important part.
But if Dean knocks him up again, there’s no way in hell he’s not going to try and convince Castiel to transfer it to Dean. After all, all’s fair in love, war, and the Winchester household.
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