Hello all you wonderful readers! Here is another installment of my beloved Emily (Sam's daughter). You can check out a few of my other one shots about Emily, but it's not necessary to read them in order to understand this story. However, it would help you pick up on a few nuances throughout this one :)
Basic background knowledge: Sam fell in love and got out of hunting. He became a lawyer and started a family. However, his wife tragically died in a car crash when Emily was two years old. Since then, it's been just Sam and Emily, and with the help of Dean, they get through life.
A VERY special thank you to Emma Winchester 424. She helped me through this story by taking on Dean's character. I wouldn't have been able to write any of this without her. Don't forget to thank her by checking out her epic Dean-daughter fic!
Here we go! This is going to either be two or three parts, depending how I split up the next section. However, it's already written, so updates will be coming soon.
Please drop me a line and let me know what you think of the story and Emily! I'll forever be grateful :)
It wasn't a weekend like any other—it was a special weekend, at least for Emily Winchester. The rambunctious four-year-old was beyond thrilled that her Uncle Dean was here for one of his beloved visits. Dean was just as delighted, his inner child always coming out when they were together. And Sam, he was just as ecstatic, if not more than both of them. Because it meant he got to run errands without having a hyperactive little girl trying to sneak off and explore on her own. She was starting to be more curious about things lately. Sam loved having the teaching moment, but he also didn't waste any time slipping out after dinner to go grocery shopping alone.
Dean and Emily were in the living room watching a cartoon, mellowing out after a big meal. The princess cartoon they were watching wanted to make Dean hurl, but he kept sipping on his beer to keep the bile down. He settled for mocking the childish cartoon in his head relentlessly. However, every few seconds he noticed Emily scoot a little closer to him from her spot on the other end of the couch as she tried to be as sly as a four-year-old could be. Finally, she made it right beside him, Dean's indication that her cartoon watching attention span was over and she was ready to play again. She looked up at him and her brow furrowed, like she was trying to think of something to say, and then she just blurted out the first thing that came to mind when she spotted the bottle in his hand. "I have a drink?"
He looked down on her with a smirk. "Sure, kid. Knock yourself out." He playfully gestured to her with his beer bottle. "Or did you want your own beer?"
Her eyes lit up with momentary excitement. This response was definitely different than the one she'd gotten from her dad before. "My own, please." Because any chance to do something just like her favorite Uncle Dean, she soaked up the opportunity gleefully.
Dean snorted a laugh. "Yeah, and I'd like to live through the night rather than have your dad kill me." He got up from the couch, careful to take his beer with him. He talked to Emily over his shoulder as he headed towards the fridge. "So. What'll it be? Water, or knowing your dad, some sugar free juice that tastes worse than water?"
She eagerly got up and trailed behind him like a small shadow. "But you say I could have a drink like you." She pointed to the beer in his hand even though his back was to her. She threw on a pouty face for good measure.
Dean turned around with a chuckle. "Tell you what. When you're sixteen, I'll hook you up. But not tonight. So what do you want?" He pulled open the fridge and squinted at its disgusting produce contents. It was…it was so colorful. Barf.
When Dean didn't show any sign of caving, she replied with a pout. "Fine…I want apple juice, please."
He leaned down in her face and poked her pouting lower lip. Then he grabbed an apple juice box and jabbed the straw in. "Here you go. Go easy on these. Pace yourself." He grinned as his own humor because he was freaking hilarious.
She smiled and between slurps replied, "What do you wanna play now, Uncle De?"
"Play? Ahhhhhhh...well we could...daaaa...huh." Because his creative mind of games had long went out the door when Sam was a kid and he honestly had no idea what a four-year-old girl would want to play. It changed every time he was here, so he could never keep up with the "new" games. There was a pause before he finally asked, "What do you want to play?"
Emily sipped her juice for a second while she thought it over. This was an important question and she needed just the right answer. Finally, she replied, "We...should play... zombies!" Cringe-worthy for Sam, this had become quite the rage to play at pre-school for no apparent reason other than they were kids who made up silly games.
Dean stuttered for a second, but recovered. "Zombies, huh? Okay then. So how do we play zombies?" The only way he knew to play zombies was to stake them to their coffin, which clearly was not child's play.
With one almighty swig, she finished her juice box and tossed it on the counter. "Well one person is the zombie and has to chase the other person around and catch them so they can be a zombie, too!" It was basically the latest version of creative tag.
"Oh. Okay, sounds cool. So who's the zombie first? You or me?" He actually thought this game was brilliant—she was going to run herself out and be ready to relax in no time. He could totally keep up with this little girl. He didn't understand what Sam was always complaining about, little kids having so much energy. Pssh.
"Imma Zombie. I'll get you." She took off at full speed to the couch, where she stood up on it and held her hands up like she was about to attack.
Dean placed his beer up high on top of the fridge where he knew she'd never be able to reach it. He turned to her, a pretend scared face on. "Aaahhhhh! Oh no! A zombie's gonna get me!" He darted away into the hall with a grin, just to see what she was going to do.
Without a second thought, Emily jumped off the couch and chased after him as they did laps around the house. In between laughter, she managed to get out some random growls that, in her mind, were clearly zombie noises.
But her zombie sounds just made Dean laugh. In one move, he darted behind a wall and let out a theatrical whoosh of breath. "Oh man, I sure hope that zombie doesn't find where I'm hiding!" He chuckled softly to himself.
She instantly picked up on his voice and knew exactly where he was hiding. She roared a few times as she tiptoed up beside him, very slowly. Then finally she jumped out in front of him and tackled his legs. "Imma eat your brains!" Cue strange munching noises as she pretended to gnaw on the hem of his shirt.
Dean out right laughed. "Brains are in your head, kid. You're eating the wrong vital organ."
Suddenly, she completely broke character and her normal, innocent face was back on. She held her arms up at him, signaling that she wanted to be picked up. He was a bit surprised at her sudden change of attitude, but he picked her up anyway. He didn't mind some extra closeness with her. Not that anyone needed to know. "What's the matter? Zombie run out of energy?"
She was pleased that he did as instructed. Once she was placed on his hip, she held up her hands again and announced, "Now zombie can eat your brains!" She reached out and practically tickled his hair with her fingers while making munching noises.
After a slew of "death" noises, he suddenly stopped. "Well, zombie is going to starve, because I have no brains! I'll eat yours instead!" He started making identical chomping sounds in her ear. "YUM. Zombie brains. All fresh and bloody- just like I like 'em."
The gnawing elicited another round of giggles from her. She struggled to fight against her laughter to yell out. "Daddy, save me!" But Sam was nowhere to be found, still taking his grand old time at the store.
In a deep ominous tone, he taunted, "There's no one to hear you scream." He took off running around the house with her in his arms, still pretending to chomp away at her brains.
She squealed with a mixture of delight and fake horror. "You can't eat meeeee! I'm your favorite!" It was true, it was the same reasoning Dean often repeated. When Sam demanded to know why Dean gave her ice cream or let her stay up past bedtime—his snarky response? Because she's my favorite.
Dean suddenly stopped eating his meal. "Ah, the kid found my kryptonite." He placed her back down on the ground. "You are my favorite."
She wrapped her arms tightly around his leg and stepped onto his boots, wanting him to walk with her hanging on. "It's your turn to pick what we play!"
"Hm..." He started taking big exaggerated steps around the room, essentially causing her to swing through the air while she was clinging to his leg. "I..." Big step. "Just..." Big step. "Don't..." Big step. "Know..." Big step.
Her amusing squeals fill the air with each movement. "We should play hide and seek!"
"Um, okay. You hide, and I'll go count, okay?" Because every adult loved to count in this game—it meant a break.
She instantly let go of his leg and scrambled off, happy that he let her hide first as that was the only part of the game she enjoyed. She ran upstairs without much thought to how her pounding footsteps gave away her location. Her mind quickly sorted through the small list of favorite hiding spots and she opted for the same place as always...under Sam's bed.
"I'm counting! One..." He went to the kitchen to retrieve his beer. "Two…" He made his way into the living room. "Three..." He sprawled out on the couch, taking a long pull before continuing to count.
She was practically squirming with excitement. After a few seconds, her impatient side showed and she called out with a taunting laugh. "Uuunnncle Deeeeeeeeeeeeannnnnn."
He grinned. He knew from the direction of her voice that she was in Sam's room. He called back, "Not done counting yet! Keep hiding!" He took another swig, almost polishing off his beer.
Emily couldn't stop smiling as she impatiently waited. She teased, "You'll never find meeeee!"
After one final swig to finish it off, he left the empty bottle on the end table. "Yeah, yeah, I'm coming." He walked up the stairs into Sam's room on the right. He paused and looked around aimlessly. "Huh. I guess Emily's not in here..." He went totally silent and didn't move, just waiting for her to reveal herself like she always did.
His "inability" to find her elicits a giggle as she clamped her hand over her mouth to try and muffle it.
However, with his hunter's hearing, he knew exactly where she was hiding. He silently crept over to the bed and leaned down to have a look. When she realized he was on to her, she scooted back more to get away from the edge of the bed, but that caused her feet to stick out on the other side.
Of course, Dean saw those little feet appear. He silently stood back up and walked around towards them. He leaned down, suddenly grabbed them, and pulled her out from under the bed. She was dangling by her feet in the air. Dean leaned in really close to her face, and with a smug smile said, "Got you."
Her arms fell down toward the floor and she was totally enjoying being upside down. "You're good at hide and seek! Daddy couldn't find me for a really really really long time." However, that was a far from the truth as possible because like Dean, Sam knew exactly where she was, he just took even longer to find her since he was trying to get work done before he looked for her.
"Well, we all know your daddy is a loser," he commented with a chuckle. Then he swung her up and dropped her down on Sam's bed. Just then a wonderful idea occurred to him. "Hey, kid. You know how to tie your shoes yet?"
"Kinda! Daddy has been teaching me but I can't do it all by myself." They'd been practicing in the mornings, but she had trouble getting the double loop right.
"Then we're going to practice." Dean walked over to Sam's closet and opened the door. Of course Sam had all of his shoes lined up perfectly and neatly. Dean groaned in annoyance but then his evil smirk appeared. "C'mere. Let's practice tying by working on your dad's shoes." He said it really brightly so she'd get excited.
Emily jumped off the bed with extra pep. "We help Daddy!" Because this sounded like doing her dad a favor, which she loved. She always wanted to be helpful.
"Exactly! Come on." Dean beckoned her over, almost giddy with glee at getting his niece to help him pull a prank on his brother. It had been too long since the last one. He had to help raise this kid right. "Alright, Em. You pick which shoes we start with."
She stared long and hard at the rack of shoes before picking up a pair of black dress shoes. "These are Daddy's favorites! He wears them to work every day." She held them up for Dean to see.
He rubbed his hands together mischievously "Great, now, show me how you tie shoes. Tie this one." He pulled one string from one shoe. "To this one." He pulled another string from the other shoe. "Go nuts."
The little girl sat down on the floor and held one string in each hand, staring at them for a moment before she returned her gaze to her uncle. "But these strings don't go together...do they?" She knew Uncle Dean wouldn't lie to her, so she was torn because it didn't make sense.
"Well, no, not usually. But we're practicing, so it's okay to do it this way. Here- I'll do one too." He grabbed a pair of mismatched shoes and took a seat on the floor in front of her. He started tying his strings, extra slowly for her to watch.
She studied his motions and then nodded, seeming to just accept his answer that it was okay. Her tongue pressed into her cheek, a sure sign she was very focused as she began to tie the laces.
He studied her moves intently as he continued to slowly tie as well, not needing to look at his own work. "You got this, Em," he encouraged.
She paused every few seconds to observe Dean and then tried to mimic his actions, wanting to get it just right since he was watching. Finally, she finished and only one of the 'bunny ears' was pulled out of the loop. "Look! I did a good job." She was very proud that she at least got one bunny ear to stick in the end. Her smile was from ear to ear. "I can't wait to tell Daddy we helped him."
As soon as she mentioned spilling the beans, he held up his hand. "Hold on there, little one. We don't tell your dad about this. Got it?"
Her innocent blue eyes looked back at him. "But why? I wanna tell Daddy. He be happy."
"But if we tell him, then it won't be a surprise. And we want it to be a cool surprise, don't we?" He persuaded with a nod and a smile, hoping she'd take the bait.
She clapped her hands together. "Daddy loves surprises!" That was a total lie, but Sam always tried to fake enjoyment when Emily would surprise him with things, from a worm in a cup to making him breakfast (untoasted bread and a kid's yogurt).
"Exactly! I know just how much your dad loves surprises. So we don't want to ruin this one for him, right? Let's make sure we get all the shoes, okay?"
"Okie dokie!" She dove into the closet and pulled out the remaining pairs of shoes that had laces, ready to get busy.
After more than five minutes of focused silence, Emily heard something outside. She stopped mid-tie and rushed over to the window. "Daddy's home!" she declared with excitement.
In one swift movement, Dean tossed the tied-together shoes in the closet, scooped up Emily, and ran down the stairs. He slammed into the couch and turned the TV on, making sure to keep Emily in his lap. He looked down at her earnestly. "Keep your lips zipped, got it?"
She mimicked closing an imaginary zipper across her lips, but it only lasted a few seconds because then she whispered in his ear. "I promise I won't tell."
There was some jingling at the door as Sam shoved the key in it, trying to balance the grocery bags at the same time. Finally, he managed to get it open and stumble inside. At seeing them sitting on the couch, doing nothing, he remarked, "Really, Dean? You couldn't help open the door?"
Emily perked up at seeing her dad, but Dean's grip on her kept her from running over to him. "Hi Daddy, we're watching TV!"
Sam grumbled, knowing that this was what Dean was going to do. "I can see that." But he couldn't complain too much; free babysitting was free babysitting.
"Alright, squirt, the Killjoy Kid has entered the room. You watch TV while I go bother your dad." He set her next to him on the couch and stood up. Before he left, he turned back to her and asked loudly enough for Sam to hear from the kitchen, "You want another beer?"
Sam did a slow turn to glare at his brother.
Emily chimed in to defend her uncle. She bounced over to the entryway of the kitchen. "It's okay, Daddy. He didn't really do it. He said I gots to wait till I'm sixteen."
Cue the pursed lips and bitch face from Sam. "Dean, I swear if you—"
"Don't get your panties in a twist. I'm just teasing her." When Sam's back was turned again, he glanced at Emily and mimed zipping her lips. She nodded in blissful understanding.
Sam started putting away groceries while Emily jumped up into a seat and watched. Sam asked over his shoulder, "So what did you two do? Anything besides watch TV?"
"We played zombies!"
Sam commented like he'd done time and time again, "Did you have fun?"
"Yeah! I tried to make Uncle De a zombie, but he eated me first."
"He ate you, did he?" Sam repeated correctly in his obsession with mirroring proper grammar, because that was just how he was.
But that didn't deter Dean from jumping in, "Oh yeah. I EATED her brains." He grinned cheekily at Sam, and Emily was none the wiser to their playfulness. "Right after I gave her beer. Her brains were still carbonated. They were delicious." He poked Emily in the side, trying to make her giggle.
And of course that made her laugh. Sam just threw Dean another displeased look, but deep down he knew Dean wouldn't actually give her beer-not at this age at least. "Well I hope you can grow some of your brain back for pre-school on Monday."
Emily giggled. "I'll eat more carrots tomorrow to help!"
Sam gave her an approving smile, while Dean made an exaggerated gagging noise upon hearing the word "vegetables" but he stopped when he saw Sam giving him the Stink Eye. Shrugging it off, he wandered over towards the bags of groceries and started pawing through them. "Where's the pie? Tell me you got pie."
Sam turned back to Emily. "Well I don't know if you deserve any pie. What do you think, peanut? Did Uncle Dean behave?"
Em nodded her head fervently and threw her arms up in the air. "Yes! He was extra good, Daddy. We did lots of goooooood things!" She grinned at them both, practically squirming with excitement to spill just how great they really were.
Dean turned to Sam with a smirk. "See? Extra good." He grinned triumphantly, then started pawing through the bags again, looking for the pie. He pulled out a bag of organic carrot sticks, made a gagging noise, then tossed them at Sam. "Ugh. Sammy, when are you going to learn that man cannot live by carrot sticks alone?" He went rooting through the bags again.
Sam grinned at Dean hopelessly searching through the bags. "You won't be able to find what's not there." He turned to Emily. "I don't think Uncle Dean has earned his gift yet." He winked. "So did you guys do anything educational while I was gone or just lose IQ points by watching cartoons and eating each other's brains?"
Emily bit her lips together because she wanted to tell him how they practiced tying shoes and Dean could see the struggle, but Sam picked up on it first. "What, Em? What's going on?" He hated surprises and he recognized her "I know something and I want to tell you so badly" face.
Dean whipped around towards his niece at lightning speed. "Hey kiddo, bet you can't guess what I may or may not have brought you." He bobbed his eyebrows at her playfully. He always brought her gift, and he hadn't had a chance to give it to her yet. He was praying the "guessing game" would distract her from wanting to tell Sam about the shoes. He didn't want to have to listen to his brother bitch and moan about what they'd done in person. He was much easier to handle over the phone when he could make mocking faces back at him or just turn up the radio and not listen to him.
Thankfully, his plan worked like a charm on the four year old. Her eyes lit up and she propped herself up on her knees in the chair, leaning against the table. "Ice cream?!" Sam didn't even miss a beat and shot Dean the death stare as if to say "don't you remember the last time you gave her ice cream this late in the evening?!"
Dean gave Sam a patronizing glare back. "Yeah. I packed ice cream in my bag and it's been sitting in there melting the whole time." He rolled his eyes, then turned back to Emily. "Bet you can't find it. I don't even know if I remembered to bring it." He was teasing her, trying to get her to leave the room.
The little one got extra excited and stood up on her chair but after a stern glance from her dad, she crouched back down, still equally excited. "Did you hide it? I bet you bringed it just for me!" She hopped off the chair and walked right up to him. "Where should I look?" She was clearly thrilled.
He shrugged nonchalantly. "Who said I brought you something?" He grinned tauntingly at her.
She tugged on his shirt in excitement. "But you always do! Cuz I'm your favorite, 'member?" Sam just watched in amusement as he finished putting the groceries away, happy that she seemed to be entertained.
"Oh, that's right. That's how I know you. Well, only one way to find out if I brought you something or not. Go seek the treasure, kid." He poked her in the nose, playfully.
He didn't have to say it twice. In a flash, she took off into the other room, prepared to search high and low for her gift. Sam just shook his head with a smile. "So what is it this time?"
Dean shrugged casually. "Drum kit. Extra cymbals. Sub-woofer amp."
Emily was still tearing through the house, looking inside every cabinet she could reach and under everything, trying to find the gift that she thought her uncle hid around the house. Meanwhile, Sam just rolled his eyes, knowing that Dean knew better than to go down the road of noisy gifts again. The eldest Winchester opened the fridge and pulled out two beers, passing one to him before he took a seat at the table.
Sam grabbed the beer, happy for some adult conversation. After taking a swig, he said thankfully, "Well that scavenger hunt of yours should keep her entertained for a while at least."
Dean looked over his shoulder towards the direction of delighted squeaks and pattering feet. "Let's hope so. Man, she wears me out." The grin on his face said that he really didn't mind, but Sam could relate to the feeling. He tossed his bottle cap on the table. "So. How goes the white picket fence life?"
Sam took a long swig of his beer. "It's going great. Job's going fine, Emily's happy at pre-school, I got you here to entertain her this weekend. What else could I ask for?" He smirked.
Dean smirked. "Don't think you can pawn the kid off on me, man. What do I look like- a babysitting service?" He threw Sam a sideways grin. "'Course, I could always expand her vocabulary..."
Sam just rolled his eyes, already used to his big brother's taunting. "Don't act like you don't enjoy watching cartoons and playing child games all day." Even though Dean may be getting older, Sam was still fully aware of his inner child. "Just remember this...you 'expand' her vocabulary and she gets her mouth washed out with soap. Do you really want to hurt your niece like that?" His eyebrows rose as he sipped his beer, thinking he caught him.
"Hey- YOU'RE the one washing her mouth out, not me. I am simply helping her to speak the rest of the way the real world does. Like I do! And I'm a fucking bad ass." He said it just loud enough for Sam to panic that Emily might have heard it.
But Emily was too lost in her own game of seek to hear what was going on in the kitchen. Sam threw on a bitch face and then picked up a nearby apple. "Knock it off, Dean! I don't need you corrupting my innocent four year old." He launched the apple at his head, hard enough to show he meant it, but easy enough that he knew Dean would catch it.
He did catch it, and without missing a beat, turned and winged it back at Sam, who caught it. "Glad to see you ain't getting rusty, kiddo. You ever go out onto the gun range or anything? Just see how bad your aim has gotten?" It was his brotherly duty to keep poking fun at him, but he was also honestly curious.
Sam shrugged as he took another sip. "I told you I gave up that life, Dean. I have no need to go target practicing." He would keep fighting as long as he could to protect Emily from anything and everything that had to do with his previous life.
"Whatever." He leaned back in his chair and put his feet up on the table. "You can't tell me that sitting in a dusty old office surrounded by boring-as-crap books is more fun that shooting a gun. It's just not possible."
"I'd rather read a boring book than be out there shooting any day, Dean." It was a statement that held true for his entire life. Before Dean had a chance to remark on it, Emily popped back into the kitchen and stomped over to the eldest, tugging on his jeans.
"I can't find it. Tell me. I want my gift!"
But Sam wasn't about to let a spoiled brat attitude form. There was warning in his tone. "Emily."
Her innocent blue eyes looked at him then back to Dean. "Tell me where my gift is," she stole a glance with her dad again to show she was listening, "pleeeeeeease."
"Where's the fun in that? You giving up so easily?"
"But, Uncle Dean, I looked everywhere!" She stretched out her hands from side to side to help make her point, even though she only looked in half the house.
"Alright, kiddo. No need to dislocate your arms. Go check my bag, you may find something there. Or you may not. Who knows." There was totally a plastic tyrannosaurus that roared in his backpack that he got just for her.
Emily didn't wait another second and rushed off into the living room where her uncle's bag was resting against the couch. However, there was something strange that caught her eye hidden back behind the coffee table that was beside the couch, the bag almost hidden from sight. It was a dark green duffle bag—something new to her. At first she was conflicted about which one to open...the backpack or the other, more mysterious looking bag that she had never opened before. It took her all of about half a second to opt for the mysterious one, like any curious little child would.
Meanwhile in the other room, Sam returned to his normal, adult conversation now. "So what was the creature of the week this time?"
Dean shook his head and took another swig of beer. "Rogarou. Nasty bastard, too. Took three people down before I could stop him. But you know me. Ain't gonna rest until every son of a bitch is six feet under." He saluted Sam with his bottle.
"Well I wouldn't expect any less of you." He saluted him back with his own.
Meanwhile, Emily had discovered the gems locked away inside the mystery bag. She first pulled out a necklace and was immediately mesmerized by it. It was so long and had a wooden cross on the end. It was perfect for dress up! She put it around her neck and when she stood up, it would no doubt hang down to her waist, but she was loving it. So she dug for more. Next up was a big bottle of salt, which she found strange, because why would Uncle Dean need to eat so much salt? Yuck. Daddy always said you only needed a pinch of salt.
As she continued to look around, she spotted a rugged knife with weird writing on it. She ran her fingers over the smooth metal. She wanted to pick it up, but it looked very sharp and she knew better than to touch sharp things. That was how you got ouchies. The knife aside, she picked through the other things and eventually came upon something shiny that instantly had her attention. Only this time she had no idea what the object was: it had a handle, a nozzle, and an empty bullet chamber. It was Dean's unloaded handgun. She gently picked it up, surprised by the weight. She had to wrap both hands around it. Staring at it for a moment, she thought maybe she had seen something like it before on TV. Her curious mind wanted to know the name of the mystery object. She hopped up and took the gun into the kitchen with her necklace dangling around her as she walked. Stopping in entryway, she gripped onto the nozzle instead of the handle, so the was pointing directly at her.
She interrupted the brothers' conversation and asked innocently, "Uncle De, what's this?"