Supernatural: One Wing in the Fire

One Wing in the Fire

Gen One-Shot

Summary: In a quiet moment, Sam and an outsider talk as Dean protects a smile child while she sleeps. Written before there were actual angels on the show

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“Good Lord, just be with him,

I know his Faith is tired,

But he’s an angel with no halo,

An’ one wing in the fire.”

She whimpered in her sleep just as she had when they found her cowering under the porch. Soft and quiet because anything more and the monster would find her. Find her and kill her as it had killed her parents and her brother, Seth. She was lying on cushions that had been pulled from the couch and set in front of the fireplace for warmth. Her only cover was Dean’s jacket, but curled into a ball as she was, it enveloped her nicely. But even in sleep, she was still afraid.

Dean lay down beside her. He crooked one arm beneath his head then slung the other over her tiny body. He pulled his knees up and tucked his chin creating a protective hollow into which she instinctively burrowed.

“You’re safe,” he whispered into her hair. “I promise, sweetheart. I won’t let it hurt you.” He kissed the top of her head. “I won’t let it come near you. You’re safe here with me.” He sighed deeply, feeling her little body move with the rise and fall of his chest. “Trust me.” Such a big request but her whimpers faded into even breathing and then she was quiet in his arms.

“He didn’t even think about it,” Elaine mumbled loud enough for only Sam to hear. “She was scared and he just went to her. Just that easy.”

Elaine and Sam were sitting on the window seat, both facing in toward each other with their backs propped against the side of the frame. Sam had one leg pulled up and his knee made contact with the cold glass. Even through the fabric of his jeans he could feel the icy claws digging into flesh. It was still snowing outside and there was a draft coming in around the old panes but he didn’t want to move. Not yet. He told himself he was standing guard, watching for that thing that had killed the girl’s family but really he was watching the snowflakes fall. So clean and white – so angelic.

“Why should it be hard?” Sam asked, her earlier words finally sinking in.

“Because he’s a guy. Because she’s a child and I’m here and most people would expect me to take care of her because I’m the woman. But he didn’t even look at me when she started to cry. He just went right over there to comfort her. Just funny.” She turned her gaze back to the window. “Doesn’t seem like the mothering type.”

“He’s the only mother I’ve ever known,” Sam said, then smiled when he realized how that sounded. “Our mother died when I was a baby. Our dad. . . well, he had. . . issues.” Sam leaned against the window and felt the instant cold seep into his temple. “Dean was the one who mostly took care of me.” The warmth of his breath fogged the window around his face. “Diapers and bottles when I was a baby. He’s the one who held my hands when I first learned how to walk. Always made sure I had enough to eat and warm clothes to wear-“

The little girl cried out sharply, her small body convulsing once beneath Dean’s leather jacket. Sam and Elaine both turned to look but as quickly as they turned, Dean had her calmed once more. Precious whispers and a soft hand stroking her face.

“He’s had a lot of practice at that. Chasing away the nightmares. Calming fears. I always felt safe in his arms. Always. Didn’t matter where we were or what I’d seen, I always felt safe when he was wrapped around me like that. He was like a. . . . a force field that no monster could break through.”

“An angel,” said Elaine.

Sam turned his gaze back to the window thinking she had seen some divine creature float by on a flake.

“He’s like an angel.”

And that was when Sam realized she was talking about Dean. “Hardly,” he snorted.

“Must be nice,” she said, ignoring his remark. “To feel that safe. To feel so protected you can sleep even knowing your family is dead and there’s a monster outside your door. It’s a gift.”

The smile fell off of Sam’s face. “It was nice. My favorite part of the day.” Sam tilted his head back until it hit the window seat frame then closed his eyes. “Dean would tuck me in to bed at night and then he’d read to me from a comic book or he’d tell me a story that he saw on TV. And I’d beg him to tell me more and more because I didn’t want him to go away. Everything felt different when he was sitting on the bed beside me, his arm around my shoulder, me tucked in tight against his chest. It got so I couldn’t sleep without him there.” Sam’s eyes popped open and he righted his head. “Then one day my dad started to complain. Said I was getting too big to sleep with Dean. Said I needed to face my fears like a man, not hide behind my brother.”

“That was mean.”

“He meant well. He wanted me to be able to protect myself. And so I’d go to bed first because I was younger and I’d pretend to sleep if Dad came in to check but I couldn’t really, not knowing all the things that were out there. And then Dean would go to bed and I’d lay there in the dark just listening to him breath and that helped. And once the house was dark and quiet so we knew Dad was asleep, Dean would climb into my bed and hold me real tight and whisper stories in my ear so Dad wouldn’t hear. In the morning he’d always be back in his own bed and it made me wonder if it I’d been dreaming.” Sam glanced over at his brother. The way he was holding on to the little girl, you would have thought she was his own. But that was Dean. Always ready to stand and protect the innocent from horrors both perceived and real. So tough on the outside with the smart remarks and the foul language and the lust for women and gambling and booze. The same man who had laid on his belly in the snow chatting with a little girl under a porch as if they were at a tea party even as a vicious monster was somewhere near by. He asked her to trust him and she did.

Who wouldn’t?

Dean’s mouth was moving. Sam held his breath to dampen even the slightest noise so he could hear.

“She wants to live on land because she thinks it’s better up there. She doesn’t realize that her father is strict with her because he loves her and he just wants her to be safe. But still she makes a bargain with the sea witch and she gives up her beautiful voice for a chance to be human and to fall in love with a man she rescued from the sea. . . . “

Sam smiled. For him it had been He-Man and Ninja Turtles. He turned back to the window and saw the snow was coming down even heavier than before. It was still out there somewhere.

Sam sighed on to the cold window fogging up the nearest pane. He drew his finger through the haze carving out the image of a stick figure with a halo and wings.

Elaine added the name Dean underneath.

Not quite. Sam huffed on the window to erase the stickman’s head then redrew it without the halo.

That was his brother. An angel with no halo. . . . and one wing in the fire.

The End

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