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Out of Our Element, Gen (1/2) - My Little Corner of the World
Out of Our Element, Gen (1/2)
Title: Out of Our Element - Water
Series: Picture Perfect.
Disclaimer: Yes, they are mine! Mine! Mine I tell you! Muahahaha! *sigh* yeah, okay, so they're not mine. meany.
Rating: PG.
Category: Gen.
Pairings: None.
Characters: Wee!Dean, baby Sam, John, Mary.
Summery: The night of November 2nd started out as just another night... It didn't end that way.
Comments: Are like cookies - the more the merrier!
Notes: Preseries. A series of oneshots about Wee!Dean. This is a two-shot, because things got lost when I tried writing it into a oneshot. A sort of 'before' and 'after'.
Other Wee!Dean stories - 'There was life there, once', Picture Perfect part 1, part 2, part 3, Dean, Tell Me a Story

Out of Our Element


Lawrence, Kansas, November 2nd, 1983


"Dean, don’t give your vegetables to Sammy, he's not old enough to eat them."


"But you're giving him carrots and potatoes." The four year old blonde protested. His little brother squealed with delight, spitting his pureed food all around and bouncing. "See? He likes it." Dean reasoned with his mother. Mary rolled her eyes, dabbing the six months old's chin with a somewhat clean washcloth. In her defense, the washcloth had been clean when dinner had started.

"Sam eats mashed food, not big boy food, Dean. He doesn’t have his teeth yet." The young mother explained.

"Yuh huh! He bit me earlier. Left a mark." Dean said, forking the vegetables around in his plate, picking the cucumbers from all the rest and using his fingers to eat them.

"Really?" Mary asked, feeling around in baby Sammy's mouth.

"Ewwww!" Dean made a disgusted face. "You got baby drool all over you!"

"You know, I think you're right. I think Sammy's growing his first tooth. Ow!" Mary yelped, quickly pulling her finger away from the baby's mouth. Yep, definitely the beginning of a tooth there. Dean laughed, and Sammy squealed, reaching his hand into his food and taking a handful of puree. "Oh, Sam, no. No playing with your food." Mary said, quickly pulling the bowl away. "And that goes for you, too, young man." She told her oldest, who looked at her innocently. And then started laughing. "Sam!"

"He thinks potatoes are shampoo!" Dean laughed as his baby brother smeared his food all over his face and head, still squealing in delight, still bouncing around. Mary sighed. The novelty of baby Sammy laughing whenever Dean was laughing was quickly wearing off. If she hadn’t known better, she could've sworn Sammy was going out of his way to make his big brother laugh.

"Finish your vegetables, Dean." Mary said, catching the baby's sticky hands and trying to clean them with the washcloth. A sidelong glance showed Dean munching on a carrot, all the cucumbers gone.

"Mommy? Is Daddy coming home soon?" Dean asked. Mary sighed inwardly. She'd been waiting for that question. Dean had asked it every day for the past three weeks.

John had been working overtime a lot lately. He was working twelve, fourteen hour days, coming home long after the boys were in bed. Dean missed his father, a lot, and Mary had to admit she missed her husband just as much. But the bills were piling up. They had forgotten how expensive new babies are.

John and Mary had been talking about Mary going back to work to ease the load a little. Dean was in preschool in the mornings anyway, and they could put Sammy in daycare. The boys miss their Daddy, Mary had argued, and John was missing out on everything.

It wasn’t that John was all too happy to work all day, to come home after the kids were already asleep, too tired to do anything but eat and sleep. But they needed the money, and he was too proud to ask for help. They agreed to wait another six months before Mary would go back to work. The boys needed a parent that wasn’t too tired to be with them.

"Mommy?" Dean asked again in a small voice.

"I'm sorry, baby. Daddy's working late again tonight. Maybe tomorrow." Mary offered, knowing John would probably work late tomorrow, too. She had to look away from her son's disappointed look, busying herself with his brother instead.

"But he promised!" Dean said in a small voice, "He said…"

"I know, sweetie," Mary stopped him. "Maybe he'll be back before you go to bed. Finish your chocolate milk." She quickly changed the subject. Dean pushed his glass aside, shrugging, pouting.

The last few times John had come home so late he had received the cold shoulder from his boy. It was almost like those first couple of days after they put Dean in daycare and he wouldn’t even look at Mary. She suspected John would face a cold shoulder tonight too, if the boys were still awake when he came home.

"Hey, you want to have a pool tonight?" Mary suggested, trying to cheer the little boy up as she picked the baby up, shaking him a little so that all the food stuck to his clothes will fall onto the table and not the floor. Sam giggled, trying to catch his mother's hair, smear it with carrots and potatoes.

Dean looked up at his mother, and she could practically see the way his mind was racing. He loved it when she filled the tub with water deep enough for him to pretend it was a pool, but on the other hand, he was still angry.

Mary was so happy John hadn’t been there a couple of weeks earlier, when Dean had asked if Daddy was working so late because he didn’t like them anymore. She hated that her boy was growing insecure. She hated it more that John had thrown it in her face when she suggested she went back to work. One missing parent was enough, he had said. She had tried to explain that with her working, he wouldn’t have to work such long hours, but John was just too tired to listen to her side of the argument.

"Can Sammy and I have a pool together?" Dean asked at last. Mary hesitated.

"I don’t know…" she said, "Your brother's too small. If Daddy were here…" she needed another set of eyes, another set of hands to keep the baby safe and above water. But the look on Dean's face told her it was the wrong thing to say. Dean's eyes watered, and he got up from the table, not meeting his mother's eyes. Mary thought she heard him mutter 'But Daddy's never here' under his breath. She was going to have to talk with John again. He had to stop working these hours all the time, come home early once in a while and spend some time with his sons.

Sam became frustrated when Mary kept her hair out of his reach. He started crying and squirming in her hands.

"Dean?" Mary called out to her oldest, giving Sammy a toy to chew on. "You'll have to hold your brother all the time. You can't let go, okay?" she asked, watching as Dean's face went from sad, to confused, to happy.

"Really?" he asked excitedly. Mary smiled at him.

"Really." She said. "Go on, get upstairs and take your clothes off, I'll be up in a minute." Mary added, and Dean started running up the stairs. "Dean, no running up the stairs, you hear me? It's dangerous." She called after him and then sighed, looking at her squirming baby. "Your Daddy's gonna be in trouble when he gets back," she said, and Sam started babbling in baby talk. "Let's get you ready for that bath, okay?" Sam looked up at his mother, still talking his baby talk, all immersed in a conversation only he understood. Well, Dean understood it too, sometimes.

Sammy gurgled and laughed his little baby laugh, splashing water all over his brother and mother, making Dean laugh. It was so wonderful to hear the boys laugh. John would be sorry he missed this, Mary thought.

She shrieked as baby Sam threw his rubber duck at her. His very wet rubber duck.

"Sammy! Just because you're taking a bath doesn’t mean Mommy has to take one, too." Mary scolded, but smiled as the boys fooled around. She helped Sam sit up, holding him tightly as he kicked his legs, splashing water all around and having the time of his life. Sam loved his bath time, that's for sure.

Dean pretended to swim, putting his face close enough to the water to wet the tip of his nose.

"I'm diving Mommy! I can dive!" he said, and Sam kicked his foot, splashing water all over his brother's face.

Dean started coughing. For a moment, Mary wasn’t sure whether to laugh or start worrying, but then Dean started laughing, and Sammy joined him, and there was no way Mary could keep from joining her boys. She ruffled Dean's hair.

"You okay there, sport?" she asked. Dean nodded, brushing wet hair out of his face. "Hey, why don't we sign you up for swimming lessons this summer?" Mary suggested, "Would you like that?"

"Yay!" Dean cried and started splashing water all around. Sammy protested quite loudly to that.


"Sorry." Dean said, smiling sheepishly at her. Mary had to work very hard to keep a frown on her face when Dean was smiling at her like that, not that she was trying too hard at the moment. She helped Sam to his feet, not letting the baby put his weight on them just yet, but it was obvious what he was trying to do.

"Dean, sit up straight." Mary said, putting the baby in his brother's arms. Dean hugged his little brother, and Mary cursed herself for not bringing a camera. And then Dean made a disgusted face.

"Mommy! Sammy farted on me!" he complained. "Eeeeewwww!" he added dramatically. Sam squealed in pure delight, making his mother laugh.

"You did?" the young mother asked. The bubbles in the water answered her loud and clear. Along with Dean's 'eeeewww!'. Sam seemed rather happy about it.

"Come on, time to wash you boys up." Mary said, pulling the baby away from his brother.

"But mom," Dean drawled.

"I think Sammy's gonna poop soon. You want him to go in here?" Mary asked with a wink, garnering another disgusted 'eeeewwwwww!' and a shudder from her oldest. Mary laughed, taking the soap, and started scrubbing both her boys.

She thought they understood it meant bathtime was nearly over. She was wrong. Because, you see, soap makes bubbles.

"Mommy, Mommy, Sammy wants more soap." Dean said, laughing at the big pile of soap bubbles on top of his baby brother's head.

"No more soap, let's get you two out of the tub, okay?" Mary said, rinsing the soap from Sammy's head and pulling the plug, letting the water run down the drain. "Hold onto your brother, alright?" she asked, making sure Dean was holding on before turning back to prepare the towels for both boys. She carefully collected her six months old baby from his brother's arms, wrapping him in a towel. "Dean honey, you still have some soap on you. Do you need me to help you?"

"Nuh uh, I'm a big boy!" Dean said, washing the rest of the soap away. Mary helped him out of the tub after making sure there really was no soap left, handing him a towel. Dean hesitated a moment before taking it.

"I'm sorry, honey, we'll make a burrito after I put Sammy down, okay?" Mary asked, and Dean nodded lightly, following his mother and brother to his parent's bedroom, leaving little wet footprints behind. Mary carefully laid Sammy onto the bed. She had to stop him from turning over on his stomach three times before she managed to put the diaper on him. Dean was still dripping water by the time she finished dressing Sammy. Dean was old enough to dry himself and get into his pajama by himself, but he still liked their bath ritual, even more so since Sammy was born. Mary propped up pillows all around Sammy to prevent him from going anywhere and turned to her oldest.

"You still want a burrito?" she asked, and Dean nodded enthusiastically. Mary smiled. She dried his face first, then removed his towel, wrapping it tightly around him like a burrito wrap. He used to love playing that game, still did, but with the baby, they rarely had time for this, unless both Mary and John were home. Mary tickled Dean's neck, kissing the top of his nose, then dried him off quickly.

It wasn’t what the toddler was waiting for, she knew that, but she had to get Sammy dressed, prepare his midnight bottle and get the boys to sleep.

"But Mommy…" Dean protested, as Mary knew he would.

"Get your PJ's on, sweetie, okay?" Dean sighed a little sigh and reached for his underwear and his pajama. He was dressed by the time Mary finished dressing the baby.

"You want to help me make Sammy's bottle?" Mary asked. It was hard; taking care of a very demanding baby, and sometimes she just wished she had an extra pair of hands so she could give Dean the attention he craved and deserved. She was definitely going to have that chat with John when he came home.

Dean shrugged, tugging at his wet towel as Sam started crying. "Why don’t you watch TV with your brother while I'm making his bottle?" Mary suggested.

"But he doesn’t watch TV yet." Dean protested.

"But you do. I bet Sammy will want to do everything you do." Mary said.

"Because I'm his big brother?" Dean asked, and Mary smiled.

"That's right." She said, "You can watch cartoons in the living room till I finish making your brother's food."

"Can I hold him?" Dean asked. Mary gave him a long look. "I know, I know, only if I'm sitting down, and only if you're there to watch me. But can I?"

"Only if you let me take a picture." Mary said with a smile. Dean smiled back at her and she kissed him, then pulled him to her and hugged him tight.

"Mom," he complained, "I can't breathe!" Mary laughed, kissing him again.

"I love you, Dean."

"I love you, too, Mommy."


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Current Mood: busy busy

14 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 7th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, I'm glad you liked the fluff, because now comes the angst... ;)
gwendolyngrace From: gwendolyngrace Date: June 6th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
This series just gets more and more charming.... (and all about to change, I suspect). I love how you paint John and Mary as *real* parents, not idyllic but with everyday problems like money and life/work balance. (Although to be honest, if John owned half the garage, OT probably wasn't an issue for the money, more for customer service/meeting demand.) Dean probably doesn't even remember day care, nor did it have much time to socialize him, but it's fun to explore even then the impact that being separated from his family may have had on his early development.

And the origin of the picture! "I know, I know, only if I'm sitting down, and only if you're there to watch me. But can I?" So totally Dean-like.

Anxiously awaiting part 2....
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 7th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, I'm happy you enjoyed it.
That part about not wanting Mary after she put him in daycare actually happens sometimes, if the mother gets back to work late and the baby really bonded with her. *sighs* *Squishes baby!Dean*
gwendolyngrace From: gwendolyngrace Date: June 7th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops, see, there I go, short-cutting and not being clear again. I happened to be a kid with no separation issues whatsoever, but I know it's common for kids to react that way - like a cat that gives you the cold shoulder after you've been on vacation.

What I meant was that present!Dean probably has no recollection of ever being socialized with other kids (in day care), and instead thinks only of his fleeting contact with kids his age *after* they are already travelling and training to be hunters, which gives him a skewed social context.

But that having been said, it's insightful to use his present (or Season 1) personality, with its intense commitment to keeping the family together, as an indication that even as young as 4, he might already feel anxious at any sort of isolation away from his family.

I'm very meta, can you tell? ;D
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 7th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
And why didn't they hire someone like ths kid from the Pilot to play Dean in Something Wicked is beyond me. That kid they hired had like 1 expression throughout the episode... The kid from the pilot *was* Dean
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 7th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
*scratches head*
Mary's BIRTHday? ... When is that? If you're talking about her Death, then part 2 will deal with that.
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 7th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Are you sure? I'm pretty sure it isn't. She died on November 2nd. Jess also died on November 2nd (Born Jan 24th, like Dean).
gwendolyngrace From: gwendolyngrace Date: June 7th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

buttin in...

In Origins 1, Dean tells Sammy that it's their mother's birthday, but it's November 2, the day she died. It's not known whether this is a true "coincidence" or whether John told them she was born on the 2nd so that he could observe the anniversary without having to explain why (since at this point in Origins, it's also unclear whether Dean knows the truth about her death or still believes she died in a car accident - which is what he tells Sam). If we assume that time in the djinn's wish!verse runs exactly parallel to their real dimension, then Mary's birthday can't be in November, but is likely sometime in February or March.

Here's a link to Lle Lywela's journal where she sets out a tentative timeline of Seasons 1 and 2.

And a synopsis of Origins is available on Winchester Journals. I really gotta go buy these comics!
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 7th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: buttin in...

Either way, since Kripke isn't the one in charge of Origins, I don't consider it canon.
Besides, I think that had Mary died on her birthday, they would've made something of it, at least mention it in John's journal on the SN site.
gwendolyngrace From: gwendolyngrace Date: June 7th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: buttin in...

Well, there's two conflicting ways to figure it.

According to Lle Llywela: It is suggested (newspaper date seen on a TV screen) in What Is And What Should Never Be that the plane crash averted by Dean and Sam in Phantom Traveler took place on December 5th, which was also apparently Mary's birthday.
However, this information comes from Dean's fantasy, and it is known that numerous other details therein are distorted, so this date can't be relied on.

OTOH, if the episodes are chronologic *and* if the time runs parallel, then Dean encountered the djinn sometime between February (Roadkill) and April (All Hell Breaks Loose). I'd love to find out if there's anything in Folsom Prison Blues that gives us a date, because we know that WIAWSNB takes place *after* they escape Hendrickson.
kamikaze_redux From: kamikaze_redux Date: June 7th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
So good. Poor Dean, missing his daddy.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 19th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
*Squishes Dean and never lets go*
asiajournal From: asiajournal Date: May 31st, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
You forget to tag this "picture perfect verse" so it didn't show when I click the verse's link.

And poor Dean. If only they hired me for baby sitting, mommy can show Dean some more attention he craved. Hehe.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 1st, 2009 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the heads' up. I fixed it. I'm terrible with tags here, but I have everything on my delicious account, so at least I can find things.
I think this was actually the beginning of Faded Memories.

And would you really like to be a babysitter for the Winchesters? I'm guessing Sammy was pretty sneaky, too... ;)
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