"Andy has a cough, I think. We need to make sure it’s not too chilly in here for him,” Dean added.
That was more than enough for Sam to put the windows at least halfway to enable air flow but keep it warmer. The little boy was a sweetheart from what he could see and he didn't want him to get sick.
“Hey! I got an announcement.” Dean stood up and looked around him.
Everyone turned their attention towards him, curious as to what he would say.
“Saturday is another day of shopping. We guys have a fitting in the morning. I verified the reservations I made on Saturday and added extras. There’s a room for Elsbeth and Andy, one for doc, one for Nancy and Erica, Sam and Sarah, and a big suite for Ryu and everyone. I am planning on taking everyone out to dinner. I have an appointment but I will meet all of you for dinner. We stay the night and go home in the morning. If there’s anything needed for the house, the holidays, or the weddings, go ahead and get it. The restaurant is a nice place. Not coat and tie but not jeans and a t-shirt either. Okay?”
Elspbeth looked started by that. There had been no discussion on a trip, and she didn't have the financial resources for such a thing. The elderly woman started to shake her head, about to politely refuse.
Dean saw the look and shake of her head. “It’s a treat, Ms. Elsbeth. You are not paying for anything. Okay? We want to get to know you and Andy. I’d like you to say yes and let me pay. Okay?” Dean had a worried look on his face, concerned the little lady would still say no.
"I have no wish to be a burden though," she said softly.
The older Winchester knelt in front of her. He reached for her hand and stared into her eyes. “I can’t imagine you being a burden on anyone. The fact you don’t ask for help when Andy needs so much and you won’t ask because you're his family tells me that. It’s a just a night out and a chance to get away from worries for one day.”
Blue-gray eyes searched hazel for a moment as if she was reading into Dean's heart and soul. "All right, young man, you win. However, if it becomes too expensive, please don't hesitate to leave us in the hotel room for the event. I'm sure Andy will enjoy the new location."
“Thank you, Ms. Elsbeth, but you are not a burden. The entire event includes you. I want to ask something. Elsbeth is an unusual name. Where is your family from?”
"Devonshire," she said with a smile. "I was born there." Her voice had a soft lilt to it that spoke of British origins.
Dean grinned, “Well, Sammy over there, my son, Ben, and I have Campbell blood. Watari, Ryuzaki, and their boys are from Britain. Sarah is Irish.”
The elderly woman gave a soft chuckle. "What a mix we are tonight."
“Exactly. We’re all family here. You and Andy will fit right in..” Dean looked into the eyes of Erica. “That goes for you too, Erica. Doc and Nancy are already a part of this group. You’re welcome to be a part too.”
Doc and Nancy, both knowing the what Sam and Dean were, stared at Erica, who had no idea.
The spirited woman gave him a slow grin. "Thank you much," she said with that bright smile. It was nice to be accepted as small towns generally turned cold shoulders to anyone 'unusual.'
Dean rose to his feet and grabbed a bottle of water and headed over to Lisa. He leaned over and kissed her, gently nibbling her lower lip, sucking it in and sending shivers down her spine. He stood up and smiled sweetly. Turning, he asked, “What all has to be done for supper? Anything?”
Doc stood up and walked over to the taller man. “Dean, don’t ask that question again tonight. Behave yourself. Take a look around.” Dean slowly turned and there was a large number of stubborn looks returning his gaze.
“I was just asking, Doc. I’ve already been told I can’t help. Geez.”
Bobby laughed. "You want to keep me company at the grill?"
“That’s allowed? Hell, yeah!” Laughter followed the two men towards the grill.. Watari was by the grill as well, keeping an eye on the coals as he sipped a cup of coffee and enjoyed the scenery.
“Hey, Watari. You get a good nap?” Dean moved and pulled up three chairs.
"I did, thank you," he said softly.
Dean motioned to the chairs, sitting in one and giving both of the older men th softer ones. He drank some water and leaned back, legs out in front of him, crossed at the ankles. “It’s going to be a clear night once it gets dark. Ought to be a beautiful night. They’re saying possible snow by next week, though.”
"The boys will have fun with that," Watari answered, settling comfortably in the chair. "I don't think my three younger ones have seen snow in a while."
“I’m pretty sure that Ben has. It snows here quite often, so Andy probably has too. They’ll have fun because it’s rural.”
"I'll have to make sure they're bundled up well. Since Ryuuzaki has been on the go so much, it was decided to give the three boys a chance for practical experience so they've not been back at the House for over a year."
“They’ve grown, Watari. Probably couldn’t wear what’s at the house any way. We’re going shopping on Saturday. We all need some winter clothes. Might as well get them while we’re in town.”
The older male nodded, sipping his coffee. "I should insist on some for Ryuuzaki but knowing him, he'll insist on remaining indoors. Near may go out, depending on the sun and how insistent the others are."
Remembering a picnic where he'd been attacked by everyone with water guns, Dean responded, “You’re telling me Ryu won’t play? You know his sizes?”
"I do, but he's more of an indoors type of person," Watari answered.
“He is going to attend the weddings? He has to get to where they are held.”
"Knowing him, he hasn't thought that far ahead and if he has, probably hasn't given thought to a coat or anything."
“Well, we need to get him what’s needed. You’re right, he won’t think about it. It’s beneath his intelligence. Why would making sure what was needed be beneath someone’s intelligence, I don’t know.”
Dark eyes gleamed merrily in the dying sunlight. "You do know he'll probably show up in jeans and white shirt, right? Anything else is too uncomfortable and lowers his thought capacity," he said with all seriousness.
“I know. That’s why I didn’t ask him to be part of the wedding party. I just want him to be there. I consider all of you to be family. This is home for you, whenever you can be here. He will need a coat, boots, gloves, a hat, earmuffs, and a muffler. I have done some research of the area. It gets cold here. Lots of snow.”
"I'll see to it they're taken care of. I just don't want the ladies to feel insulted when he shows up dressed like that. It's just how Ryuuzaki is."
I think they know him. Not like I do, but they’‘ve been around him enough to know how he is. I’m going to take Near out for a steak dinner on Friday. I made the reservations. It’s a promise being kept.”
Watari smiled at that. "That sounds good. Let me know what time, and I'll make sure he's ready. Just to advise you, make sure it's not one that emphasizes a dress code."
“We’re leaving here at 6. I’m wearing jeans, boots, a t-shirt with another shirt over it. Typical for me. It has no dress code. I’m told some people do dress up, but it’s not expected.”
He nodded. "His clothing can't be taken for anything less than what it is - pajamas. It's comfortable for him and his skin is so sensitive."
“Believe me, I know. He’s kind of my kid, too.” Watari sensed the tenseness in Dean when he made his claim He watched the young man sitting next to him, wondering why he felt the need to even say that.
"We've never disagreed with that point so why are you tense?"
“I haven’t done this before now because of Ben. He was jealous of Near. Thought that Near was more important to me then him. It’s not like that. I love Near like he’s one of my own, but I know he’ll never be my own. It doesn’t mean I don’t care and want to do things with him. Ben’s young, you know. He doesn’t understand that I can love both of them. I’m hopeful that this time that you guys were gone, that he’s gotten the idea that he is my son and I love him. I also hope he’s gotten over this jealousy. There’s no need for it, and I am taking Near out on Friday.”
"I'd be shocked if Ben wasn't jealous, Dean. It's natural for a child his age who hasn't had his father around for most of his life," Watari pointed out. "It wouldn't hurt to find an activity for the three of you so he can watch you two interact and understand that Near isn't a threat."
“Yeah, I tried that. Chinese Checkers when we all got first settled in. He didn’t want Near playing. I’ll try it again, though.”
Watari shook his head. "No, something outside. Perhaps something educational but not where Near's intelligence could outshine Ben at all. Either that or take turns in having them explain something like a museum exhibit."
“A museum? They have one about this area, the Native Americans who lived here, and some Texas history. There’s one in the city that’s a science and natural history museum. I could take them to it on Saturday. After my errand is done, that is.”
"The Native American one would have both Ben and Near on equal footing," Watari said. "If you do the science and history one, I would suggest researching exhibits and assigning several to each boy to play tour guide. They can research and tell the others about what they're seeing," he told him.
“I could do that. I’ll do it after I check on something for homework tonight. I got to go to the city for diesel classes in the morning. I’m glad the shop is closed this week, though. I need the time.”
He nodded. "I think it's a great opportunity for both of them, and it'd give them something to learn together."
Dean smiled in relief. “Thanks, Watari. I will definitely do that.”