Title: Apples Don't Fall Far From Trees
Characters: Sam, Ben and a little Dean
Spoilers: 3x02 - The Kids are Alright
Rating: PG for mild language
Author's Notes: Thanks to absolutesnark and kajivar for the insta-betas :)
It's a good thing they have the Impala and could pile all those kids in the back seat to deliver them safely back to their homes, though Sam admits to driving a little extra carefully since they obviously aren't in seatbelts. He's more than happy to let Dean take each kid to their door and spin whatever tale he's telling the moms about where their kids were and what happened in their neighborhood, because he's too busy sneaking glances at one kid in particular.
When Dean takes Katie to her door and leaves Sam alone with Ben, Sam can't help himself from asking, "So, Ben, where's your dad?"
Ben shrugs. "Dunno. Never met him. Mom told me that she didn't know him well and he left town long before she knew I was gonna be born."
That admission tugs on Sam's heart in a way he never felt before. "You did really good helping us," he says, trying to cover his feelings.
"I had to make sure the other kids were safe," Ben says, in a matter-of-fact tone that Sam has heard his entire life. "Besides, I wanted to see what you and Dean were gonna do. It was so cool when you blasted that bitch!"
Sam resists the urge to bang his head on the steering wheel as the corners of his mouth quirk up. "That's not really appropriate language, Ben."
Ben rolls his eyes, a gesture that Sam catches in the rear-view mirror and is so reminicent of Dean that Sam feels that tugging on his heart again. "Grownups say stuff like that all the time," he says. "Why shouldn't kids get to say it too? If it was really that bad, then the grownups shouldn't say it at all."
The validity of the argument isn't lost on Sam and he turns sideways in the seat to smile at Ben. "You're a pretty smart kid, Ben."
"Yeah, I know." And that smug grin is one that Sam has seen more times than he can count. "What's taking Dean so long?" he asks.
Sam glances up at the door and sees Katie's mother clinging to her daughter and the uncomfortable look on Dean's face and is once again glad that he left the explaining up to his brother. "I'm not sure," he admits. "Katie's mom looks pretty upset."
Ben doesn't reply and when Sam turns back to check on him, he's got a pensive look on his face. "Hey, Sam, can I ask you something?"
"Yeah, sure," Sam says, wondering why he's so uneasy about an eight year old kid asking him a question.
"Is Dean my dad?"
Sam feels like all the air has been sucked out of the car and he has to take a couple of slow, deep breaths. It's a damn good question and one he's been asking himself ever since he saw the way his brother was with Ben at the construction site. "I don't know," Sam says honestly. "But I think it's possible."
Ben nods and Sam can see a myriad of emotions playing out on the kid's face.
"Do you want him to be?"
There's still silence and Sam is worried that maybe he said something wrong. Maybe he shouldn't be left alone with kids. He's going to be a terrible uncle who will scar his nephew for life with a single word.
"Yeah, I think I do," Ben says, breaking through Sam's minor freak out. When Sam looks at Ben, Ben is offering Sam a tentative smile. Sam smiles back and thinks maybe he would be an okay uncle after all.
Dean opens the door to the passenger seat and startles them both. "That chick is pretty damn perceptive," he says. "She knew that thing wasn't her daughter." When he doesn't get an immediate response, he gives Sam and Ben a curious look. "What are you two up to?"
"Nothing," they reply simultaneously, which only serves to get Dean's eyebrows raising.
"Uh huh, I shoulda known better than to leave you two alone," Dean says. "Come on, Sammy. Let's get Ben back to his mom."
Sam smiles uneasily, but puts the car in drive. He's pretty sure that was a wistful note in Dean's voice when he said they needed to return Ben to his mom. He'll grill his brother later, but for now, he's content to drive slow to Lisa's house so he can enjoy the moment.