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Title:"An Apple a Day" and Other Childhood Myths
Author: lori_leaf
Beta: achillies_eel
Rating: PG
Summary: Sam and Dean have the stomach flu. Alec has freckles. John's about to have a headache.

Author's Note: This is a future timestamp for my Fox 'verse. It was inspired by a prompt serena64 gave me and I proceeded to change all the details for. (Sorry Serena.) All that you need to know is the Winchesters have adopted Alec. Dean is 19, Sam is 15, and Alec is 10.


Alec was perched on the queen sized bed, hovering between Sam and Dean. With his dirty, holey socks, faded plaid boxers and one of Dean's old shirts with a rip in it thrown over everything, he made for a very serious sentry. Of course, John looked just as fashionable in his gun-oil-stained sweatpants and his shirt with the mustard stain that wouldn’t wash out. Winchesters had excellent taste in pajamas. Alec leaned closer to his sleeping brothers, examining their gray, sweaty faces. Alec’s expression would have been hilarious if John wasn’t so exhausted. Apparently, looking after two puking teenagers and a hyper-active super-soldier was liable to make a man tired. The kid managed to look both confused and concerned at the same time. When his little hand went out to poke a sleeping Dean, John intervened.

“Alec, leave ‘em alone.” John beckoned towards the chair next to him. “Park it over here.”

The hotel room they were staying in was a dump, but after the pulse, they were lucky to get a room at all. Luxuries like vacations had become rarer in recent years, and many of the places the Winchesters normally stayed at had buckled under economic pressures. John was just happy that there were two queen sized beds, a table with two chairs, and a bathroom with a flushing toilet. The puking teenagers made the flushing toilet an essential hotel room accessory.

Alec shuffled over to the vacant chair before perching on that as well. He sat on his heels and balanced on the balls of his feet, ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. John had noticed him doing that all day, and his own ankles ached in sympathy.

John shook his head. “Get your butt in the seat, kid.”

With a huff, Alec sat down. He wiggled around, obviously wanting to ask something but not wanting to get yelled at. John scrubbed at his dry eyes and steeled himself for whatever mystery he would be asked to reveal. “What is it, kiddo?”

Alec opened his mouth, then snapped it shut, teeth clicking. He tilted his head to the side while examining the two sleeping lumps on the bed. His eyebrows furrowed together as he formulated his question. Finally, Alec simply asked, “Why?”

“Why what?”

Alec pointed at the boys. “Why are they still sick? It’s been two days."

John didn’t quite understand the question. “They’ll get better soon. The flu takes about a week to get over.”

Alec looked like John had just killed his puppy. “A week?! I’ve never been sick from one thing for a whole week!” He lowered his voice in concern, “Are they defective?”

It took real effort not to laugh at that. One look at Alec’s earnest face informed John that laughing would be the worst possible thing to do. “No, son, they’re not defective. They’re just sick. It happens to everyone. That’s why I don’t want you sitting on top them. We’re lucky you’re not sick too.”

Alec puffed his chest up in pride. “I don’t get sick unless they give me something really bad. Even then I’m only sick for a little while!” He was quiet for a second, and the crease between his eyebrows reappeared. “One of the other kids got sick for longer then two days once, and the doctors took him away. He didn’t come back.”

When John realized what Alec was implying, he scooped him up and sat him on his lap. “The doctors at Manticore infected you guys with things?”

Alec nodded. “Testing.”

John squeezed Alec a little closer. “Well, we don’t do that here. They were wrong to do that. Sam and Dean are sick because they caught some germs, not because it’s a test. Seems to me that you heal quicker than most people, so that’s probably why it seems like the boys are so sick. Trust me, kiddo, this is normal. And no one’s leaving.”

Alec examined the hole in his sock with great interest and kicked lightly at John’s legs. “I wasn’t worried about that.”

Despite his refusal to look at John, it was clear that was exactly what he was worried about.

In an obvious effort to deflect John’s attention from his fears, Alec abruptly asked. “Why do I have freckles?”

John indulgently let him change the subject. “Because it’s in your genes. Dean has freckles, too.”

“Sam doesn’t. You don’t.” Alec poked at an offending brown dot on his arm. “Did your wife have them?”

John inhaled sharply. It never got easier to talk about Mary. It was supposed to get easier; people told John it would get easier. Every time Alec asked, it was like a sucker punch. The kid didn’t ask too often.

Alec could sense the shift in mood and jumped off of John’s lap. “Sorry.”

John grabbed a skinny wrist, once again marveling at how his hand completely encircled the tiny bones. He gently tugged Alec back, having him stand between his knees. “It’s okay. Don’t be sorry. You’re allowed to ask about her. You should be allowed to ask about your mom. You just caught me off guard, is all.”

John turned Alec’s arm in his hands and looked at the smattering of freckles there. “Mary didn’t have freckles, either. I think it must have been one of your grandparents or great grandparents that had the freckles. Sometimes those things skip a generation,” John laughed. “Mary told Dean they were angel kisses when he was little.”

Alec frowned. “That’s stupid. There’s no such thing as angels, and they wouldn’t go around kissing people if there were.”

John shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not. It’s a nice story, if nothing else.”

Sam picked that moment to crawl out of bed and lurch his way into the bathroom. Sounds of retching echoed throughout the room. Dean moaned and covered his head with his pillow. John could barely hear him whimper: “If Sam keeps puking, I’m gonna puke, and I don’t wanna puke anymore.”

John whispered conspiratorially to Alec. “You don’t get sick, eh? Let’s put you to work, then. You want to help Sam or Dean?”

“Dean’s not puking right now.”

John ran a hand through Alec’s hair. “Okay, I’ll take Sam.”

As John went to make sure Sam didn’t drown himself in the toilet, he could hear Alec encouraging Dean to take deep breaths. “You’ll feel better, trust me. Deep breaths.” The kid was a regular Florence Nightingale.

His middle son was white faced and clammy as he knelt by the porcelain bowl. The puking had stopped for the moment, and Sam was resting with his forehead against the toilet seat.

“Son, you probably don’t want your head there...”

Sam just mumbled something nonsensical in response. John carefully peeled his kid’s head off of the germ factory and helped lead him back to the bed he was sharing with Dean. As he pulled back the covers and ushered Sam under them, he could see that Dean was asleep and no longer panicking about possibly vomiting again. Alec sat on the other bed, hugging a pillow like a teddy bear, and smiling smugly at John.

“I fixed Dean.”

John raised an eyebrow. “Do I even want to know?”

Alec shrugged. “I told him all my best tricks for not throwing up.”

John reached out to mess up Alec’s hair. “He’s lucky to have a little brother to share such useful information.”

Alec dodged John’s hand. “Hey, those are good tricks! I hardly ever puke, even when I run really fast for a really long time. My info is a valuable commodity.”

“Kid, how are you possibly ten years old when you say things like, ‘valuable commodity'?”

Alec smirked. “I have an excellent vocabulary. I excelled in many subjects. Hey... I bet I could charge Sam and Dean for lessons in some of the stuff I’m good at. I bet they’d want to know about analyzing the enemy for an advantage. That’s a great skill! And I could teach them Mandarin!”

John placed a hand on Alec’s forehead and gently pushed, causing his kid to tilt backwards until he finally got the hint and lay down. He pulled the pillow out of Alec’s arms and stuffed it under Alec’s head. “You’re not charging your brothers for lessons in anything. You share your valuable information, and they’ll share theirs. That’s how family works.” He tugged Alec’s dirty socks off, and pulled the covers over him. “And good luck teaching those boys English, let alone Mandarin.”

Alec yawned and squirmed deeper into the comforter. “What about Italian?”

John smiled. “What about bed time?”

“Okay.”

John crawled into the far side of the bed and shut the light off. The teenagers were asleep, the super soldier was a tiny furnace currently digging his toes into John’s ribcage, and John had managed to dodge the flu again. All was right in the world.

Comments

( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
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rei17
May. 31st, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
Soooo adorable. *happy sigh* Loved it! ^___^
Alec being worried about his brothers leaving and asking if they were defective was the cutest thing. *hugs him* He's so sweet!
And poor Sam and Dean ... óò
John is great dad. Love your fics! =)
lori_leaf
May. 31st, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. *g*
followingabdiel
May. 31st, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
yay!
Aww, this was great! I really enjoy this verse, so it was nice to see a new ficlet waiting in my inbox! I'm looking forward to more, so anytime you want to write Fox verse ficlets (or longer fics), I'm totally game to read them! Thanks for posting this one!

lori_leaf
May. 31st, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: yay!
I'm really trying to get a little bit of writing in before chaos strikes again. I'm glad you enjoyed the ficlet! Hopefully next time it'll be a longer story.
goldie3
May. 31st, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
aww, alec fixed dean. ur alec is adorable.with fox verse and wellspring, i'm gonna drown in a sea of cuteness. but great update.
lori_leaf
May. 31st, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
scourgeofeurope
May. 31st, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
*squee*
...
*SQUEE*

You, my dear, are amazing. I've been having a sucky few days and this just made me feel warm and fuzzy and...AH! Alec and John. I love your Alec and I love your John and I love them especially when they're together.

I especially loved John recognizing Mary as Alec's mother, because John doesn't see a little boy who came from a tube, he just sees his little boy. *cuddles**smishes*

Thanks, Lori. :D
lori_leaf
May. 31st, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Well I love YOUR Alec, and YOUR Ben, and YOUR boys, so we're even. *g* I'm glad this made you feel better. Your fics always improve my days too.
always_angel
May. 31st, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
Awww! That was awesome! Alec is sooo adorable and him being worried over Sam and Dean was so cute. Great job Lor!
lori_leaf
May. 31st, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon!
davincis_girl
May. 31st, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
This was very entertaining as usual.
lori_leaf
May. 31st, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
Danke!
serena64
May. 31st, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
You used my prompt! Yay. And it was great.
Loved Alec, worrying that they were going to take Dean and Sam away 'cause they were defective.
And thinking that he could charge them for his useful info. Sounds very Alec. And I liked John's response.
Lovely story. You know I adore your Fox 'verse.
lori_leaf
Jun. 1st, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
I accidentally changed it from "injured" to "sick" because I remembered your details wrong. Thanks for the great prompt though! I needed a nudge. *g*
(no subject) - serena64 - Jun. 1st, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
surevesta
May. 31st, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
Absolutely adorable! *squishes wee!Alec* Love this verse! <3
lori_leaf
Jun. 1st, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Yay! Thank you!
smokeyhorse
Jun. 1st, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Perfect! Two Fox 'verse stories in less than a week - OMGYAYYYYY! :D

Loved Alec asking if Dean and Sam were "defective". And I want to hunt down Manticore and do not nice things to them for testing awful illnesses on poor little Alec! I also love John being such a cool dad...awwwwwww! :) And Alec getting the idea to charge Dean & Sam for lessons - LMAO!

This made me so happy! Great job! :)
lori_leaf
Jun. 1st, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
I figure half of the time it was testing, half of the time it was the same idea as vaccines... but getting vaccinated for bio-warfare is a little different than getting vaccinated for chicken pox. In the show Max mentioned that all the transgenics were able to deal with the toxic nature of Terminal City.

And I'm trying to get some writing done because my summer job is about to start in full force and I'm doing another show on top of that. I'll basically have no time again. :(

Thanks for the feedback hon!
minx999
Jun. 1st, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
Sweet! I like how Alec doesn't understand how normal humans don't get over the flu in just a few hours,calling them defective, hee. Loved him teaching Dean how to avoid puking too. And I like all the hurt/comfort going on here. Absolutely adored John in this, hon. Great job!
lori_leaf
Jun. 1st, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I was in a schmoopy mood. *g* I'm glad you liked this!
achilles_eel
Jun. 1st, 2009 05:34 am (UTC)
Enjoyed it just as much the second time. :D
lori_leaf
Jun. 1st, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks again for betaing!
(Deleted comment)
lori_leaf
Jun. 3rd, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading! *g*
redrikki
Jun. 3rd, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
Stories about vomiting should not be this cute.
lori_leaf
Jun. 3rd, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
Hee! That may be my favorite comment of all time. I sort of want to add it as a tagline to this story.

"An Apple a Day" and Other Childhood Myths
PS: Redikki says it contains adorable vomit.
hucknclem
Jun. 3rd, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Sorry I'm so late on commenting, but I loved this. :) It was sweet the way Alec was watching over his brothers, and I loved him asking John about Mary, and John calling Mary his mother. Thanks for the warm and fuzzies! :)
lori_leaf
Jun. 6th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you hon!
twasadark
Jul. 5th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
Yay!!! I love it when you do more of these. &hearts
lori_leaf
Jul. 5th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)
*g* Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
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( 51 comments — Leave a comment )