The Legacy: Timing

By Ridley C. James

Beta: Tidia

Disclaimer: Nothing Supernatural belongs to me.

Words: 3.233


“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” -Carl Brad

Dean groaned as once again something tugged at his pants leg. It had started with a playful attack on his boots, laces pulled until they were untied, sharp needle teeth gnawed at his ankle. Sam had been right about getting Boo neutered. Dean should have listened to him before the beast spawned prodigy. ”Damn it, Dill, cut it out,” he growled, nicking his knuckle on the undercarriage of the Impala. “Shit.”

Ms. Carver had not been pleased when her Border collie, Penelope, ended up in the family way. She had planned on a blueblood arrangement, not a blue collar worker’s mutt sealing the deal. Dean was lucky to find homes for the other four puppies before the wicked witch tossed them into a sack to throw them into the river. Dill was the exception. “I knew I should have left you at the shelter.”

He’d finally sequestered the annoying pup in one of the empty horse stalls, but she had escaped with the help of her wily sire who never bored of someone or something to wrestle with. Their playful barking had him turning up the music on his iPod. “Go bother Harper Lee and leave me the hell alone.”

Dean was up to his elbows in oil. He should have moved Caleb’s Lamborghini from the barn. He could have used The Pit to work on the Impala. Another sharp tug had him sliding from beneath his car. “Okay, that’s it…”

The ball of fluff was not latched on his jeans as expected, but cradled in the arms of woman standing over Dean with an amused smile. Dean pulled the ear buds from his head; his knife and gun were within his reach. The farm was protected, but Dean had learned not to take chances. A pretty face could just as easily be hiding a demon, or any sort of supernatural being.

“I’m sorry. I thought you might have heard me come in.” She gestured to the headphones. “The dogs were barking.”

Boo wagged his tail. Dean got to his feet wondering how much of his one-sided conversation with the dogs she had heard. “Yeah, Boo runs a tight ship of security.”

The woman laughed. “Yeah, I think the geriatric beagle on the porch is definitely the greatest threat.”

Dean snorted, relaxing a little as Dill climbed up the stranger’s shirt. Dogs could sense evil, if Dill licking the woman like a popsicle was any indication, she was no monster in disguise. “Harper doesn’t hear so well these days, and he has lost most of his teeth.” The beagle was edging up on thirteen, but still had the run of the farm.

“No one answered when I knocked, but I saw the barn doors were open.”

“Sorry.” Dean grabbed an oil cloth from the hood and wiped his hands. “I don’t get a lot of company out here.”

“I should have called first.” She smiled. “But as cliché as it sounds, I found myself passing through the neighborhood and well you know...”

“Are you having car trouble?” It was his day off from the garage. The shop was just getting off the ground so any new business was a good thing, but Sal should have been able to handle it.

“No.” The woman shook her head. “I’m Juliet O’Neill.”

“Juliet?” The name didn’t ring a bell.

“My mom was an English Literature professor so it could have been worse. If I’d been a boy it would have been Balthazar.” She smiled at Dean. "And before you hurt yourself, we haven’t met.”

“Of course not.” Dean grinned. “I would have definitely remembered you.”

“Of course you would have.” Juliet sounded doubtful as she extended her hand to Dean. “You’re Dean Winchester.”

“Guilty.” Dean shook her hand, liking the roll of her eyes when he held on longer than necessary.

“My grandmother gave me your address.”

“Grandmother?” Now Dean was confused.

“She said Uncle Jim thought highly of you and your brother, of all his boys. Grams took his opinion to heart.”

Dean’s interest in female company was quickly overshadowed by the mention of his predecessor. “You knew Pastor Jim?”

“Yes. I’m his great niece."

Dean frowned, trying to recall any extended family the pastor might have mentioned. “You’re related to Miss Emma.”

“My grandmother was her sister.”

Dean studied Juliet. She was tall, brunette and maybe around Sammy’s age. Her long hair was pulled into a loose ponytail. She had a light touch with makeup. Her brown eyes were nice and she had a great mouth. His gaze traveled to her chest and when she cleared her throat, Dean realized he’d been taking stock a little too long.

He looked up, pointing to her shirt that proclaimed her participation in The Colorado Call of The Wild Marathon. “Colorado.” Dean had a faint memory of Jim being gone one Easter. “Pastor Jim used to visit Miss Emma’s family in Denver.”

Juliet nodded. “That would have been my grandmother, Hannah. She owned a small ranch there.”

“Wow.” Dean had a feeling Pastor Jim was having a good chuckle. “Small world.”

"You're bleeding," she pointed the cut on his knuckle that was dripping blood.

“You're a runner," he replied, ignoring the small wound, and pressing the flirting as he gestured to her shirt.

“God, no.” Juliet snorted. “Not unless a pack of wild dogs is chasing me.”

“That happen a lot?”

“Not if I’m careful.” She shifted Dill when the pup toyed with one of the loose tendrils of her hair “One of my professors sponsored the race. I just gave a speech on behalf of the wolves to kick things off.” Her mouth twitched in amusement. Dean caught the briefest hint of a dimple.

"You’re still bleeding by the way.” Juliet pointed to the small first aid kit hanging just inside the doorway of the barn. “Do you mind?”

“I don’t know.” Dean gave her a crooked grin. “Do you have a license to practice, Juliet?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.” Juliet lifted the small white box with one hand and placed it on the hood of Caleb’s car. She flipped the lid and grabbed an antiseptic wipe, Band-Aid and antibiotic cream from the contents, tossing them to Dean. “Just not on people.”

“My loss.” Dean tore into the wipe.

“What is this?” She sat the squirming puppy on the ground, tilting her head to study the car.

“A Lamborghini.” Dean turned to where the drop cloth had slid away from Caleb’s car revealing the sleek sports vehicle. He flashed the woman another grin. “You’ve found me out. I’m Batman.”

Juliet moved around the car with Dill pouncing after the strings of her tennis shoes. “Funny but you don’t strike me as the type.”

“I don’t look like a superhero?”

“No.” She laughed, pressing her face the side window so she could look inside. “The kind of guy that drives a sports car. This is amazing."

“It belongs to my best friend.” Dean skipped the antibiotic cream, winding the bandage around his finger to stop the bleeding.

Juliet raised a brow. “Really?”

“Yeah.” Dean caught a glimpse of his reflection in the glass, noting the grease smudged across his face. He tried to wipe it off, but only smeared it more. “Caleb is incredibly hideous and has a horrible personality so the status symbol is all he really has going for him.”

Juliet moved away from the Lamborghini, careful not to step on Dill who was assaulting her ankles with ferocious growls. “Good thing he has a great friend like you.”

“I have a soft spot for the downtrodden.” Dean pointed to the Impala. “That one’s mine. She’s a classic beauty.”

Juliet’s attention was drawn from the Impala by a loud whinny. “Now this is my kind of classic beauty.” She moved toward the end of the barn where Sammy’s horse was stalled. “He’s amazing.”

“That’s Fideist.” Dean joined her at the stall; the gelding stretching his neck forward for a piece of apple Dean was guilty of indulging him with. He wasn’t sure who missed Sam more, him or the quarter horse.

“Fideist?” Juliet reached out and stroked the big bay’s head.

“From the Latin word fides,” Dean explained, giving the gelding a pat. “It means faith before reason.” They had all needed their share of faith after the war, and Sam had found some healing with Fideist.

Juliet looked at him with a hint of surprise. “Someone’s quite the scholar.”

“My brother Sam is The Scholar.” Dean rubbed the horse’s muzzle. “I’m The Guardian.”

“The Guardian of what?”

Dean gave her his most serious look, doing his best raspy ‘Batman’ voice. “The Guardian of an ultra secret organization of men sworn to protect the innocent against all forms of evil.” The line was greater because it was true.

“Huh.” Juliet shook her head. “Grams said you were a mechanic.”

Dean grinned. “Doesn’t your grandmother know all good heroes have an alter ego?”

“My grandmother is my hero and she made sure I knew that all men have monstrous egos.” Juliet smiled to soften the jab. “Does your brother live here, too?”

“No. Sam’s a law student at NYU.” Dean blamed lack of female company as of late for his divulgence. Taking over as The Guardian, picking up Sam’s slack on hunts, and opening the shop in New Haven had taken up most of his time. “He lives with Caleb in New York.”

“Your hideously deformed best friend?”

“Yes.” Dean recalled his earlier description of Damien and nodded. “He and Sammy have a lot in common.”

Juliet tilted her head. Dean caught a whiff of her shampoo, flowers and something fruity. “They’re a couple?”

Dean struggled to regain his focus. “Come again?”

“Your brother and your friend? They’re together?”

Technically, Sam and Caleb probably were in close proximity, and Dean wanted to eliminate the possible competition. Whoever said all was fair in love in war was a wise man. “Yes. They have quite the relationship.”

“That’s very understanding of you.”

“I’m an understanding kind of guy. So much so that I haven’t asked you what brings you from Colorado to Kentucky.” Dean noticed Juliet made a wide arc around him as she moved back towards the door. "Is this where you tell me you want the silver?"

Once outside she knelt to let Dill scramble into her lap, Boo nudging for his share of attention. “I just finished up my residency and I'm here working on the reintroduction of gray wolves into the Appalachian Mountains. I’d heard so many stories about Emma and Jim that I couldn’t resist being so close to their farm and not stopping by.” Juliet looked up at him. "Grams said the farm was still in his family."

“Jim was most definitely family to me and Sam.”

“I only met him once when I was about ten. He brought me a Nancy Drew book and a kitten.”

Dean snorted. “That sounds like Jim.”

“It was more of a trade, a bribe even. He came for one of my grandmother’s prize Lab puppies and I was not happy about letting any of them go.” She stood, rubbing her hands over her jeans.

“Scout.” Dean shook his head at the memory. Pastor Jim had given the pup to Sam for his seventh birthday. “She was a great dog.”

“After that summer he sent me gifts at Christmas, cards on my birthday and for my high school graduation he sent me a picture of Emma. He wrote she would have been proud of me and that I had her smile.”

“Miss Emma must have had a great smile.”

Juliet looked embarrassed, glancing towards the farm to avoid Dean’s gaze. “I really didn’t plan on coming, but I had some time off before starting the new project. My mother’s moved to Italy to fulfill her dream of renovating a villa and with Gram gone…”

“Your grandmother passed away?”

“No.” Juliet shook her head. “She sold her place and retired to Las Vegas.”

“Sounds like a woman after my own heart.”

“Anyway.” Juliet took a step back, crossing her arms in front of her. “That’s the story of how I ended up interrupting your work, but I’ll be on my way now so you can get back to your busy day.”

Dean took a step forward. “Do you like iced tea?”


“Yeah. If you’re going to be staying in the south for a while you might as well be indoctrinated the right way with Pastor Jim’s secret recipe.”

“And that would be? Moonshine?”

“No.” Dean laughed, thinking how the last of the pastor’s home brew was hidden in The Pit beneath Caleb’s car. “An extra half cup of sugar and lots of lemon.”

“Sounds sweet, but I still have a ways to drive.”

“All the more reason to rest up.” Dean gestured to the door. “Besides, you didn’t come all this way just to see the barn. Miss Emma and Jim left a lot of themselves in the old place.”

Dean washed his hands, got the glasses and tea as Juliet roamed around the kitchen. She stopped in front of Miss Emma’s china cabinet. “This looks just like the pattern my grandmother has.”

“Miss Emma’s good china only came out on rare occasions.” Dean placed the drinks on the table. “Jim guarded it and her rose bushes with unmatched tenacity. He might have let us boys get away with a lot, but we knew our limits.”

Juliet moved to the table. “He never did remarry.”

Dean filled their glasses. “Much to his parish’s dismay. No matter how many casseroles the widows from the church tried to woo him with, Pastor Jim remained faithful to Miss Emma’s memory.”

“That must have been very lonely.”

Dean thought back over his years with Jim, all the people who called the farm home. The pastor had never struck him as lonely. “He stayed busy with his work, and he adopted a lot of strays.” Dean handed her a glass.

Juliet took the drink, quickly pulling her hand away when their fingers touched.

Dean cleared his throat, starting towards the living room “Like I was saying before, I don’t think he changed much of the house after she died. You’re welcome to take the grand tour. There’s still some of her clothes and jewelry upstairs.”

Juliet ran her finger along a porcelain figurine of an angel sitting on one of the end tables. “I think the fact their love transcended even death is what intrigued me the most.” She glanced at Dean. “So much of today’s world is disposable, all about instant gratification, outward appearances and the best new thing.”

“Jim didn’t throw away anything,” Dean said. “He sure as hell never gave up on people. Jim talked about Emma in a way that made you think you’d known her your whole life. It was almost as if she was out working in the garden, or maybe she’d just gone for a long walk. I remember once when Sammy was a little kid he asked Jim when Miss Emma was coming back.” Dean looked down at his drink, licked his lips. “Jim just smiled and said she was already home.”

Juliet made her way across the room, stopping in front of the fireplace to stare at the various photographs lining the oak shelf. “He was completely in love with her.”

Dean joined her at the mantle. “Until the day he died.”

“That’s rare.” Juliet glanced at him. “My grandmother said they were the exception to the rule, a fairytale come to life.”

Dean took a drink of his tea. “I guess they had happily ever after for a little while. That makes them luckier than most.”

“My parents divorced when I was two, so I’d say you’re right.” She picked up Jim and Emma’s wedding picture. “My Dad’s on wife number five, who is my age by the way, and my Mom has sworn off all men, the exceptions being those found pressed between the pages of a Jane Austen novel and Giorgio Armani.”

“So the fair Juliet is a jaded romantic?” Dean smiled.

“I think marriage is a fallible institution.”

“That’s irony for you.”

“My parents didn’t provide the best example.” Juliet returned the photo to its place. “What’s your excuse? I don’t see a Mrs. Winchester hanging around.”

“I don’t have an excuse. My folks were the real thing.”

“So they’re still together?”

Dean shrugged. “I like to think so.”

“I’m sorry.” Juliet’s teasing smile faded. “I take for granted that I still have both my parents as embarrassing as I find them at times.”

“Family is one thing I never take for granted.” Dean pointed out another photograph. It was of him, Sam and Caleb taken at Joshua and Carolyn’s wedding. “I’m thankful for what I still have left.” Dean knew exactly how easy it would have been for him to walk away from the war a shell of a man left with mementos and ghosts for company.

Juliet picked up the picture studying it closer. “Is this your brother?”

“That’s Sammy-the freakishly tall one.” Dean put his finger over Caleb’s face. “This other guy is Caleb.”

"You're right.” Juliet maintained a straight face as she returned the photograph to the shelf. “They do make quite the couple.”

“Ugly right?” Dean said.

“Absolutely hideous,” Juliet agreed with a twinkle in her brown eyes. “I’m beginning to understand why Jim’s invitations always came with a disclaimer.”

Dean frowned. “You were never curious enough to take him up on any of them?”

“You know how it is.” Juliet met his gaze. “The timing was never quite right.”

“I do know how it is.” Dean understood all too well. “Timing is everything.”

“Speaking of -” Juliet checked her watch. “I really should be going. My research fellows are expecting me at the camp by nightfall.” She handed her glass to Dean. “It was really nice of you to show me around.”

“We could do it again…I mean you haven’t seen the rest of the place.”

“Perhaps.” Juliet hesitated. “Perhaps I could actually call before I came next time.”

“Hell, we could make it a date,” Dean said. “Unless the fair Juliet is also jaded against those?”

“As long as you don’t ask me to call you Romeo, then I think we’ll be okay.”

“How about if I promise not to compare you to the sun or your eyes to the stars?”

“As if I haven’t heard those lines before.” She pinked up.

“I may not be original, but I make a mean steak and promise to add in dessert, too.” Dean wondered if Whole Foods delivered or if he could convince Esme to visit and cook him a dinner without Sam and Caleb catching wind. The power couple would not be invited. “I could even dig up some of that moonshine you were asking about earlier.”

Juliet moved towards the door. “I think we should stick to wine.”

“Wine it is,” Dean said. “I have a secret cellar, you know.”

She laughed. “I wouldn’t expect anything less from The Guardian of an ultra secret society of super heroes.”

Dean grinned. “Juliet O’Neill, you have no idea what you’re in for.”


A/N: I purposively saved my author’s notes for last. This is a story I never thought I would write, but several readers requested that I fill in some gaps and I can’t resist those plot bunnies. I started out considering it a necessary evil, but in the end I was not left with a twitching eye or feeling nauseas as I feared. One of the first people who read it actually stated ‘Wow. I didn’t want to gag when I was finished’. In a side note, that was almost the title I used. I did run it by the most stalwart Dean girl I know (we’re talking hardcore) and she did not find it offensive. If any of you felt faint or ill, I will promptly refund your money. ;-) Please keep in mind this summer series is for pure fluff, fun and a distraction during hiatus. Tidia and I are having fun playing. It will disappear into the sunset in September.



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