God Bless the Children
Summary: Pastor Jim gets a surprise after Christmas visit. Dean-15, Sammy-11
disclaimer: Disclaimer: Supernatural and all its characters belong to Kripke and the CW. I own nothing.
Pastor Jim trudged through the snow to the front porch of his old farmhouse. He carefully maneuvered his way up the steps and to the door making sure to miss the broken top stair as well as the patch of ice beside the faded door mat. Snagging his keys out of his coat pocket he unlocked the door and hurried inside. Shutting and locking the door the weary man kicked off his boots and hung his coat on the wooden rack by the door before heading into the living room. He walked over to the stone fireplace and lifted the gate setting it against the wall. Kneeling down Jim quickly set about starting a fire. Within minutes the fire was glowing bright warming the room instantly. After replacing the gate, the pastor shuffled to his favorite recliner and plopped down with a sigh. Running a tired hand across his face he glanced across the room at the brightly lit Christmas tree. He should take it down and pack it away for next year; should have done it days ago in fact. But he hadn’t had the time. This had been one of the hardest Christmas seasons he could ever remember. Five funerals in the two weeks surrounding Christmas had to be some kind of record. And not the kind he was happy to have made. Five faithful pillars of his church gone. He hoped that he’d managed to help the families deal with their loss but he wasn’t so sure he had. Comforting grieving families was always difficult but being in the midst of the holiday season seemed to make it even harder.
He really wished John and the boys had come to spend the holiday with him. He imagined he would have been able to handle things better if he’d had a full house to come back to. As it was he was stuck with a cold, empty home. Shaking his head to clear that morose thought Jim sat back and closed his eyes. He’d just rest a while and then he’d get up and see to…a loud knocking at the door cut off the rest of his thought. Looking over at the clock on the mantle he noticed that it was almost nine o’clock at night. Which could only mean one thing; something was wrong. Standing he hurried to the door grabbing his pistol off the desk as he did. Tucking it in the waistband of his pants he pulled his jacket back down over it and peeked out the small window of the door. Seeing Officer Ryan he quickly unlocked the door and opened it a gasp leaving his lips at the sight of Dean and a pale faced Sammy standing awkwardly beside the officer. “What’s the meaning of this?” he asked the young policeman.
“Do you know these boys, Pastor?” Officer Ryan inquired. “One of the bus drivers called into the station to report two apparent runaways on his bus. I picked them up as they exited the bus and was going to take them to the station but they both insist that they were on the way to see you. So I brought them here to check out their story.”
“Uncle Jim I tried to tell the officer that our dad sent us to stay with you for the rest of Christmas break. But he won’t believe me and Sammy.” Dean huffed adjusting his hold on his little brother.
“Officer Ryan I assure you that Dean is telling you the truth. Their father John called me last week to tell me he was sending the boys to me for a while. But I’m afraid that with everything that’s been going on lately I forgot all about picking them up.” Jim explained before turning to Dean. “Dean, take your brother inside and get him warmed up.”
The officer watched the boys walk inside and then smiled at the pastor. “Okay, now that we got that settled I guess I’ll be on my way.” He hesitantly said.
“Thank you for taking care of the boys and bringing them to me.” Pastor Jim called to the retreating officer. “I’ll see you on Sunday.” Jim waited for the officer to get in his patrol car and drive away before closing and locking the door once more. Marching into the living room he took a seat on the end of the couch Sammy was now laying on and stared at the two boys. “Alright boys, what’s going on?” he asked.
“Sorry to bring you into this mess Pastor Jim but you were the closest person I could think of.” Dean apologized as he gently tossed a blanket over his little brother. “Dad’s only been gone a little over a week but it was long enough for the manager of the motel to call CPS on us. Think he thought we’d been abandoned or something. Anyway I had to get us out of there fast. Normally we would have just found somewhere in the area we could stay until dad got back but we couldn’t do that this time. Sammy’s been sick since yesterday and I didn’t want him in some old dump of a house with no heat so I got us to the bus station and bought a couple of tickets here. Guess the old fart driving the bus didn’t buy the story about us going to visit our uncle either.”
“Dean, no parent in their right mind would send a sick child somewhere on a bus.” Jim pointed out as he carefully looked over both boys. Seeing the dark smudges under Dean’s eyes and the eyelids that kept drooping the pastor sighed. The boy had probably spent the last two days and last night taking care of his ill little brother. “Dean, why don’t you go upstairs and get some sleep? You look worn out. I’ll watch Sammy for a while.” Jim suggested holding up a hand when the boy opened his mouth to protest. “Go Dean. You won’t do your brother any good if you make yourself sick too.”
“You promise to come get me if he gets worse?” Dean quietly asked.
“Of course son” the pastor promised crossing his heart. He watched John’s eldest shuffle across the room and slowly climb the stairs. He listened to the creaks of the floorboards in the hallway grinning when a shutting door sounded. Now that one Winchester boy was taken care of it was time to see to the other one. Scooting up on the couch beside Sammy he lightly placed the back of his hand on the little boy’s head frowning at the heat he found there. Hurrying to the kitchen he grabbed the first aid kit and then made his way back to Sammy’s side. “Sammy, wake up for me a minute, son” he called gently shaking the boy’s shoulder. Eyelids slowly opened revealing fever glazed eyes. “Hey there Sammy” Jim whispered. “I need you to hold this under your tongue for me. Can you do that, son?”
Sammy nodded and opened his mouth closing it around the thermometer.
Jim waited for the beep and then carefully slid the instrument out of the young boy’s mouth. Holding it up to the light he squinted at the reading. “101.5, not too bad, but not good either.” He muttered as he set the thermometer down and headed into the kitchen. After pouring a glass of water, he sat back down on the couch and set the glass on the coffee table. Reaching into the kit he retrieved the Children’s Tylenol and shook two tablets into his hand. Gazing down at the littlest Winchester he said, “Sammy, I need you to take these for me and then you can go to sleep.” Seeing the boy nod the pastor helped Sam sit up enough to swallow the medicine and then gently lowered the little boy back down. Setting the empty glass and medicine bottle on the table he was surprised to feel a hand latch on to his shirt. Turning he looked down at the ill child and smiled. Sammy had always been clingy when he was sick; wanting to be held or snuggling up beside Dean. Sadly it seemed that now being sick was the only time Sam allowed any of them to touch him. The precious little boy that freely handed out hugs and kisses had morphed into a pre-teen who rarely showed such affection. A tug on his shirt brought Jim out of his thoughts. “It’s okay Sammy. I’m not going anywhere.” He assured the sick boy. Reaching down he lifted Sam into his arms and carried him and his blanket to the rocking chair by the fireplace. Settling himself and his charge into the chair Jim slowly began to rock knowing the movement had always calmed the boy. Noticing that Sam’s eyes were still open Jim did the one thing that was guaranteed to put John’s youngest to sleep; he sang. “God bless the children and keep them from harm. Don’t let them stay out…” he softly sang.
Jim sat and rocked Sammy for over an hour and would have continued doing so if he hadn’t needed to tend to the dying fire. Scooping up the now sleeping boy he carefully carried him over to the couch and laid him down tucking the blanket around him. Then he went over to the fireplace and quietly added more wood bringing the fire roaring back to life. After replacing the gate the pastor tiptoed back to the sleeping boy’s side. Sitting on the edge of the couch he lightly ran a hand through Sam’s mop of hair smiling as the boy leaned into his touch. Thankful to feel less heat than an hour ago Jim sat and watched the boy sleep. He’d call John tomorrow and give the pompous a$$ a piece of his mind for leaving the boys alone instead of bringing them here but for now he was content to just enjoy the time he had with his boys.
AN- I know, I know but I couldn’t help it. Thankfully I’m off all next week so hopefully I can get a ton of writing in. Oh, in case you’re wondering why I left the song in the middle of a verse: its cause I can’t remember anymore. My dad only sang it twice and after he died it was the only one of his writings that we couldn’t find.