Timeless : Future Conversations 2

Beta: Tidia



“JT?” Sam pushed his chair back as the teenager stepped in. “What are you doing here?”

“Hey, Uncle Sam.” JT jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “I hope it’s okay we stopped by.”

Sam looked around his nephew, the black and tan head popped around the corner. “Of course it’s okay. You and D’Artagnan are always welcome here.”

JT pushed his long bangs out of his eyes, slapped his jean clad thigh, and signaled to the large German Shepherd he could come in. The dog barked, jumping up on one of the chairs in front of Sam’s desk. JT took the other one.

“I know you stay late on Fridays.”

Sam reclaimed his chair. “It’s the only time I can get any work done. My students seem to have better things to do at the beginning of a weekend.”

“Mom says you don’t get out enough.”

“That sounds just like your mom. She worries too much.”

“Dad thinks she’s determined to find you and Uncle Caleb a permanent home and family to call your own.  Like the strays that get brought into her clinic.”

Sam laughed. “Your dad’s just jealous of the attention we get. Where is he by the way?”  

“He’s in the doghouse for letting Porthos in last night after the stupid mutt cornered a skunk in the barn.”

Sam grinned at the thought of the lively, three-legged Boston Terrier bravely defending his turf. “The skunk probably mistook him for its mate.”

“It was a long night. James refused to go to bed without him after Ben told him Porthos would get rabies. He tried to talk Dad into letting him sleep on the front porch.”

“Who won that battle of wills?” Dean liked to say James was like Sam; Sam could admit there were some similarities. For one, Dean wasn’t able to deny his youngest son much.   

“Mom soaked Porthos in tomato juice until we could stand him again. He’s kind of pink looking, but at least he doesn’t stink. I can’t say the same for Mom’s favorite quilt.”

“And your Dad and younger brother lived to see another day.”

JT nodded. “It’s pretty amazing Jimmy has made it to twelve.”

You’re pretty lucky to be breathing after that little stunt last weekend.”  JT was rarely in trouble. In fact, Sam could count the times on one hand his nephew had warranted any punishment, and most of those were linked to his best friend, Max.

Sam liked to think JT was a unique combination, the best of his father, his uncle, and his godfather. He also believed Dean’s son was a reflection of what Dean could have been if not for their horrific childhood.  JT was walking, talking, breathing proof that something good could come from the worst the world had to offer.

After the war, Sam had been at a loss. Going back to school, trying to rebuild his life as The Scholar, had not been able to soothe some of the deeper wounds he incurred. JT was the catalyst to his healing. His nephew gave him hope. Not until later when Ben came into their lives, and James was born did Sam think he was capable of loving another person quite as much as he loved JT. Of course that was long before Mary came along.

“Did you hear me, Uncle Sam?”

Sam blinked, bringing himself from his thoughts. “I’m sorry.” Sam grinned. “What were you saying?”

 “I said that’s why I’m here.”


“Yeah.” JT ducked his head, his dark blond hair obscuring his young face. “I apologized to Dad and Uncle Caleb, but I hadn’t had the chance to talk to you one on one.”

Sam waited for the jade eyes to meet his once more.  JT had Dean’s eyes and like his dad they reflected whatever was going on inside. “It was a dangerous thing you three did. None of you have any business going on a hunt alone. It’s not a game.”  Sam couldn’t help but to think how different the boys’ lives were from his, Dean’s and Caleb’s. They had been protected and sheltered from the worst side of the family business.

“I know. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“Max’s idea or yours?”

“You know Max.” JT shrugged. “But I made the decision to go. And I took Jimmy.”

“Not the brightest move.” Sam appreciated the fact JT was just as loyal as Dean, and an amazing big brother to boot. “But as I said before, we all make mistakes.”

 “I just don’t want to make any that cost me my ring.”

Sam folded his hands on his desk. “Do you want a ring?”

“Are you kidding?” JT’s eyes lit up. “More than anything.”

Sam wasn’t sure how he felt about that, understanding all the responsibilities and dangers that piece of silver held. He’d run cold, then hot about hunting. Neither emotion had served him well.   “What about college?”

 “Dad says I’m going to college.”

“What do you say?”

JT shrugged. “Max wants to go somewhere on the west coast. He wants us to room together.”

“Let me guess. He’s going to major in bikini clad girls?”

“With a minor in surfing,” JT replied.  

“That still doesn’t tell me what you want.”

“I think college would be cool. I want to take pictures and hunt. Grandpa Mac says I can do both.”

Sam nodded. “Mackland is a very smart man. He’s the reason I finished my law degree. ” Sam gestured to the stacks of papers cluttering his desk. “But managing two lives isn’t always easy.”

“I can’t imagine not being in The Brotherhood. I’ve dreamed about it my whole life. “Then I think you’ll find a way to make it work.”  Sam sighed. “But you know it’s going to be tough having The Guardian for a dad.”

JT grinned. “Try having The Scholar as an uncle and The Knight as a godfather.”

Sam nodded, feigning empathy. “Yeah. You’re screwed.”

“Pretty much.” JT reached out and patted D’Artagnan’s head. “I’m grounded too.”

“Then what are you doing here? Don’t tell me you sneaked out.”

“Uncle Caleb remembered he had to drop something by the school and he convinced Dad he’d being doing him a favor by taking us with him.”

“Caleb has business here at the university?” Sam snorted. “Please don’t tell me he’s dating a co-ed because that’s scary even for him.”

“No. He’s donating a couple of paintings to the new museum. Some of his and some of his mom’s.”

Sam sat back. “Really? That’s the first I’ve heard of it.” They had all done their share of healing over the years.

“He didn’t want to make a big deal of it. Don’t tell him I said anything.”

“I won’t.” Sam smiled at the teen. “Maybe you’ll donate some of your work some day.”

“I don’t know about that. I’m not sure my stuff will ever be that good.”

“Caleb says you’re already great. He would know.”

A dimple flashed at the side of JT’s mouth. “He has to like them. He has some of the first shots I took as a five-year-old framed and hanging on his wall. It’s embarrassing.”

“What’s wrong with that?” Sam pointed to a black and white portrait sitting on the corner of his desk. It was of a little blond girl in a wooden swing, holding a tattered one-eyed teddy bear. The photograph was one of his favorites of his daughter. “I own a few Jonathan Thomas Winchester originals myself.”

“But in the ones Caleb has I cut off D’Artagnan’s head.” The German Shepherd barked at the sound of his name.  JT laughed. “And you can’t even tell who you and Dad are; your faces are so out of focus. Don’t get me started on the lighting.”

Sam laughed at the teen’s perfectionist streak. It was a John Winchester trademark. “Caleb was probably still using crayons at that age. Look how far he’s come.”

“Yeah. Maybe.”  JT held up a manila envelope. “He’s the one who said I should give you this. He thought it would be a perfect apology.”

Sam took the package, his curiosity piqued. “I’m almost afraid to look.”

“It’s not my best work, but the subject was nice.”

Sam slipped the photo out. It was Clara.  “Wow. JT, this is great.”

“Dad said she was a friend of yours?”

Sam traced a finger over the glossy 8x10, thinking of the choices he’d made in the twenty years since he’d last seen Clara. “She could have been.”

Caleb wrapped on the door, sticking his head in. “Hey, Dude. You about ready? I promised your old man no unwarranted pit stops for the convicts on house arrest.”

“Are we still stopping for pizza on the way home?

“Of course we are. That is if James hasn’t taken the car for a joyride.” Caleb mussed the teen’s long hair. “Why don’t you go make sure your kid brother isn’t hot-wiring anything or trying out his over zealous charm on any of the pretty co-eds? I’ll be down in a second.”  

“Sure thing.” JT stood.” See ya later, Uncle Sam. Let’s go, D’Artagnan.”

Sam watched the boy and his dog leave. “The Knight doing carpool duty now?”

Caleb shrugged. “I had some things I needed to take care of in the same vicinity.”

“Like pit stops for pizza? I thought the boys were grounded.”

“Even prisoners are allowed meals.”

“I’m not sure if Juliet will agree with your reasoning.”

“What?” Caleb frowned. “The woman loves me. I can do no wrong.”

“And here I was thinking she tolerated you for the sake of her relationship with Dean.”

“It was kind of a package deal considering the whole Triad thing.”

“I’m sure she’s rethought the wisdom of her choice over the years.”

“We’ve all done our fair share of that.” Caleb gestured to the picture on the desk. “I hope it was okay I told JT to give you that.”

“It was fine.” Sam picked up the picture, studying the curve of Clara’s mouth. “JT’s got a real gift.”

“Speaking of gifts.” Caleb claimed a seat on the edge of Sam’s desk. “What are you up to tonight? Juliet mentioned fried chicken. I can probably finagle you an invite.”

“And you think Jimmy’s over zealous.” Sam shook his head. “I’m working late.”

“What about the runt?”

Sam frowned at the hand-me-down nickname his daughter had inherited. “Mary is spending the night with Jocelyn. Carolyn is picking her up at school.”

Caleb laughed. “That explains why Max left a message begging to do some extra training at the farm this weekend.”

“Isn’t he grounded too?”

“Oh yeah. Joshua’s not letting him out of his sight. And I’m thinking a night of dealing with the two princesses will be bonus torture. Maybe they’ll braid his hair, or paint his toe nails while he’s sleeping.” 

“I think you’re enjoying his suffering a little too much.”

“Are you kidding? Do you not remember the nanny hell I endured as a knight in training? John scarred me for life.”

“If only Dad knew he was providing practical skills for your lifelong profession of caring for the Winchester children.”

“It’s not a half-bad gig.” Caleb smiled. “And I finally get to be the Godfather of something.”

Sam snorted. “Let’s not forget you take a perverse pleasure in twisting Joshua’s son into your image.”

Caleb’s face lit up. “Ain’t Karma a bitch. It’s almost like Deuce and I cooked Max up in a mad laboratory somewhere. He’s awesome. I couldn’t love him more if he sprang from my own loins.”

“From some of the stunts he pulls I’m not sure he didn’t.” Sam raised a brow. “You sure you and Carolyn never…”

“What?” Caleb shook his head. “That woman loves me, but I couldn’t do that to Josh, seeing as how he’s my brother and all.”

“Right.” Sam rolled his eyes and flipped over another paper.  Joshua was Caleb’s brother when it was convenient. “Don’t you think it’s about time you found a wife of your own?”

“I could say the same for you, Sammy. You use work as a distraction.”

Sam sighed. “We’ve had this conversation.”

“Yeah, but being a single dad opens so many doors. Mary is almost as much of a chick draw as you used to be. You wouldn’t believe the phone numbers I got when I took her and Jocelyn to the zoo.”

“You’re shameless.”

“I am.” Caleb smiled. “So about the invite…are you coming to the farm? I know for a fact there are going to be unexpected guests. Just because you don’t want to take the big plunge doesn’t mean you can’t have a hell of a good time playing in the pool.”

Sam groaned. “More women?”   

 “Juliet isn’t going to give up.” Caleb crossed his arms over his chest. “She wants to see us all sitcom happy and shit, like her and Deuce.”

“You’re in denial.” Sam rolled his eyes. “She wants rid of us. We’re strays-just like JT said.”

“That too, but it’s a free meal. Besides Ben’s going back to New York tomorrow. It will be our last chance to gang up Ace for a while.”

“Damn it,” Sam growled. “I’m never going to finish these papers.”

Caleb shrugged. “Bring them with you. It will make Juliet’s guests think you’re smart and accomplished seeing as how I’ve got the good looks and great body covered.”

“What happens when you’re too old to fall back on old hat?”

“I will never be that old, Sammy.”

“Right.” Sam gathered his things, knowing Caleb wasn’t going to give up on him. “Some things never change.”