Chapter Four: Starting the Hunt
Spencer was seated on the plane headed for London so that they could begin their search for his brother, Alec. The four of them were in first class because Tony declared that he had the money to afford it and didn’t think any of them needed to be scrunched up in a standard seat for the entire flight. He and Dean were seated in front of him and Sam. The two older men were arguing about classic muscle cars vs. imports, and Spencer had a feeling it was to help keep Dean calm. The elder Winchester hated flying, and Tony knew it. Although given that Spencer knew for a fact that his Mate’s two favorite cars were the Ferrari and the Jaguar E-Type, it was hard to say if he was serious in his argument or just trying to wind Dean up.
Spencer was seated at the window, and Sam was on the aisle because he was the tallest of the four of them. Even though Tony was the taller of himself and Dean, he was at the window so that Dean could get up if needed. Spencer enjoyed the friendship his mate shared with the elder Winchester brother. His own friendship with Sam meant a lot to him, and he liked knowing that Tony had something similar. Spencer knew that some people wondered why they kept Sam and Dean so close to them both, but it was just something that Spencer had never been able to explain. When he was a child, Sam said that he’d always be there, and never leave him. So far, he’d kept his promise.
As he went to sleep, Spencer thought about those first days when Sam came to live with them.
~~*~~*~~*~~ Flashback ~~*~~*~~*~~
Spencer was sitting on the end of his bed with his hands folded across his lap. His suitcases were packed and sitting nearby. He wasn’t sure where he was being sent now. He only knew that Sam Winchester was coming to live with Stephen and Marcus. So, logically to him, that meant that he must be leaving. He’d been working through the possibilities and scenarios in his head since he’d met Sam, and couldn’t imagine why they would keep him.
Spencer had been trying to hide his upset over it but wasn’t sure he had done a very good job. Stephen kept shooting him concerned looks, and Marcus had prodded at him during their last session. He didn’t want to burden them any further though with his thoughts and feelings. He’d done that enough already and look where it had gotten him.
He hoped that either Uncle Stephen or Uncle Marcus would tell him where he was going to live before they dropped him off at the airport. While he would be 13 soon, he was reasonably sure that he wasn’t going to live with his Forever yet. Spencer knew that he had to wait until he was 18 before they could be together. Maybe he would be going to live with Blair and Jim. He supposed that wouldn’t be terrible. He liked visiting them when his Uncles went to see Tony. He wasn’t sure though how much time they would have to raise him and doubted that was where he was being sent.
He didn’t want to live in some foster home. He’d heard stories at school, and while he was reasonably sure that they all weren’t as bad as he’d been told, he knew how his luck ran. He knew that he would be going to college soon. Maybe he was being sent early to live in the dorms. He didn’t really want to live there either. They’d bought all kinds of cool things to decorate his new room when they moved, but he supposed they could take those back.
When the door to his room opened, he looked up and hoped that he didn’t look as afraid as he felt. “Spencer, are you almost ready? We need to… Spence?”
Spencer stood up from the end of the bed and curled a hand around one suitcase handle and clutched the strap of the messenger bag Tony had gotten him with the other. “I’m ready. Can you tell me where I’m being sent?”
“Oh, Bit,” Marcus said looking devastated for a moment, and when he turned his head to holler down the hallway for Stephen to come right away, Spencer found himself frowning confused.
“I’m sorry if I wasn’t supposed to ask,” Spencer offered, biting his lip.
“Marcus, what?” Stephen started as he suddenly appeared in the doorway behind his mate. “Spencer? Why are your things packed? Marcus? Why are his things packed?”
When his Uncle Marcus replied, his eyes were shiny like they were before someone cried, and his voice was deeper than Spencer was used to. “Li’l Bit wants to know where we’re sending him.”
“Oh, oh God no, Spencer,” Stephen murmured sounding broken, and Spencer saw him clutch the doorjamb for a moment as if he was trying to hold himself up. He watched as the Guide dipped his head near Uncle Marcus’ neck before he straightened and entered the room. Spencer was confused when Uncle Marcus followed close behind but sat back on the bed next to his Uncle Stephen as Marcus knelt at their feet.
“Spencer, why do you think that you’re being sent away?” Marcus asked carefully as Uncle Stephen’s arm rested on Spencer’s shoulders.
“Sam is coming to live with you,” Spencer said factually not understanding why they didn’t get it. “That means that I must be going somewhere else. We picked out stuff so you could decorate my room with his new things. Am I living in the dorms? It would be better than living in a foster home. I don’t think I want to live there.”
“Why would we send you away because of Sam though, Spencer?” Marcus questioned carefully as his Uncle put a hand on Spencer’s knee. “There’s plenty of room on the new house for you and Sam both. Part of the reason we agreed to keep Sam was so that you’d have someone who was in a situation close to your own to be friends with.”
Spencer tilted his head to one side as he frowned at the statement. “I don’t understand.”
“We’re not sending you away, Bit,” Stephen said before pressing a kiss into Spencer’s hair and pulling him closer so that their sides were touching. “You’re like our own son. We love you, and we have no interest in you going anywhere that we won’t be. At least, not before Tony can be with you. Sam isn’t taking your place. He’s getting a room of his own in the new house. So, instead of having a guest room, you two will take turns bunking together when the family comes to visit.”
Spencer felt his lip tremble as he turned his eyes up to meet Stephens. “I’m not being sent away?”
“No, Bit,” Stephen assured, and before Spencer knew it, the dam holding his fear broke letting lose the tears he’d been holding in. He felt the bed dip behind him, and when he felt Uncle Marcus hug him from behind, he started to feel better. Spencer didn’t understand where his logic had gone wrong and would have to review his facts. He was glad to find out though that he wasn’t being replaced, and his Uncles still loved him.
Spencer felt like he was almost a completely different person as he stood at the gate in the airport waiting for Sam to come out. His Uncles told him that he had just enough time to make a sign with Sam’s name on it before they left. One thing that had changed drastically since he’d come to live with his Guardians was how they encouraged his creative side, which he hadn’t even known that he had. It wasn’t that his mother had discouraged him from being creative, it just wasn’t something that she thought about. Because he liked to learn, that was what she encouraged him to do, and there hadn’t been much exploration of outside things.
For instance, his Uncle Marcus was teaching him all about cars and how to fix them. He enjoyed it so much that, on the way to the airport, the older man had suggested that the two of them and Sam go to the junkyard after they move into the new house in Pasadena and pick out something to fix up. His Uncle told him that Sam’s older brother and Tony liked to work on cars, and Marcus thought that maybe having a project of their own would help not make them miss the two so much.
Then there was the drawing and painting with his fingers. He’d never tried to draw, but he remembered liking finger painting when he was really young. His Uncle Stephen refused to call his painting finger painting because he said that made him think of a preschool class but what Spencer was doing was so much more than that. Lately, he’d begun to experiment with both the drawing and the finger painting. His Uncles had both offered to get him art classes, but Spencer refused. He liked learning about it on his own and figuring things out by himself. Classes would make it more like work. Luckily, neither man pushed it since Spencer was having fun figuring out things for himself. He’d probably never have works hanging in a museum someplace, but for the moment his Uncle’s refrigerator was just as good to him.
“Is that them? Hold your sign up, Bit.”
Trying to see around all the people, Spencer held up his homemade sign with Sam’s name on it. At 13, he was still waiting for his next growth spurt, and while the first one helped, he still wasn’t quite tall enough to see over everyone yet. The kids at school had teased him because Spencer was so short on top of being younger than everyone in the class, and while the Guide hated the names they called him, Spencer loved when his Uncles called him Bit or Li’l Bit. He could hear the love when they said it and knew when he heard it that he was still special to them. He didn’t imagine that he’d ever be too old to not love hearing that name.
“It’s them, Bit!”
Spencer scanned the crowd at his Uncle Marcus’ words and saw an older African-American couple with the boy he’d met earlier in the year when Alec died. As the trio headed toward them, Spencer heard the boys say, “look, that’s me,” and he knew that his Uncle had been right.
As they stopped in front of them, Spencer tuned out the grownups doing the polite adult greeting stuff and focused on the smiling boy in front of him who was tugging on the sleeves of his too short hoodie. Lowering his sign, Spencer smiled shyly as the other boy grinned at him and babbled excitedly. “It’s nice to see you again! I can’t wait to get to do all the cool stuff we wrote about. It’s so cool you know who your mate is already. Tony’s awesome. He said that you were really smart like I am. I hope we get along as good as him and Dean does.”
When Sam then lunged forward and hugged him unexpectedly, Spencer may or may not have squeaked at first, but soon just went with it. It wouldn’t take long for Sam’s hugs to become one of his favorite things in the entire world.
The next day, Spencer found himself sitting under a tree with a book and four Spirit Animals sprawled around him. Sam’s brown lab puppy, Lionel, was sprawled out with Leonardo on his back. Marcus’ brown bear, Yogi, was laying next to Spencer and Stephen’s Mountain hair, Coinín, was lying protected underneath the massive animal’s head even though Stephen was inside doing some research for one of his papers.
He was supposed to be readying himself for some of his classes coming up but found himself spending more time watching Uncle Marcus helping Sam with his soccer. Spencer was as uncoordinated as a person possibly could be, but apparently, that wasn’t the case for his new friend. He was somewhat fascinated by it all and found himself doing more watching than reading. He kinda wished that he had a pad of paper and his pencils because Spencer liked to try and draw what he was seeing. He only hoped that the image would stick in his mind until he could get into his art room to draw later.
When Sam came running his direction, Spencer put his book flat on his lap as he watched the slightly older boy expectantly. “Come play with us, Spence!”
“Oh,” Spencer murmured frowning. “I’m not very good at… well, anything athletic.”
“We’re just kicking the ball around now, Bit,” Marcus explained patiently as he wandered over as well. “Just having a bit of fun. Sam’s practice time is over. I know for a fact that you’re way ahead in your reading for that class. Why don’t you put your books down and come kick the ball with us? It’ll be fun.”
Usually, Spencer would stick to his no, but there was just something about the hopeful expression on Sam’s face that made him put the book aside. Sam shouted happily and ran back into the yard, but Marcus waited and ruffled his hair once Spencer caught up with him. “Good for you, kiddo.”
Spencer wasn’t exactly sure what he meant, but he was happy for the praise nonetheless.
Later that same evening, Spencer was woken up by the sound of someone whimpering from the floor. “Sam?” Spencer called out once he realized who it had to be.
Crawling out from underneath the sheet that had been covering him. Spencer moved to kneel next to the air mattress that Sam was on. The boys had been getting along so well that they asked if they could share a room until they moved. They’d been taking turns with the bed, and tonight had been Sam’s turn on the air mattress.
“I… I’m sorry,” Sam whimpered as he looked to be trying to curl into a ball. “I didn’t mean to wake you. I was trying to be quiet.”
Biting his lip, Spencer looked down to the hazel eyes that he could just see in the moonlight coming through the window. Making a split-second decision, Spencer ran to the bedroom door and poked his head out. “Uncles, come quick!” Confident that one of the two would hear him, as they always had before, Spencer immediately hurried back to kneel down by Sam.
Poking his tongue out slightly between his lip, Spencer moved to rub on Sam’s left knee the way he remembered his Uncle Marcus doing for him when he’d had his first growth spurt. “What’s wrong kiddos?” Marcus asked softly coming in and kneeling down beside them. “Hurts, Sam? You should have told us.”
Spencer watched as Marcus turned his head to look back at the doorway, and he guessed that his Uncle Stephen must be standing there. “Steve, baby, can you get the heating pad and some pain medicine? I’m gonna help Li’l Bit with the massaging. You’re doing a great job, kiddo.”
“I’ll get the oil, too,” Stephen mumbled sleepily, and Spencer smirked at his Uncle Marcus. The Guide wasn’t the most alert when first woken up, and sometimes translating his British accent through the sleepy mumble was a talent Spencer still hadn’t mastered.
Spencer turned his attention then to his massaging and let his Uncle Marcus talk quietly to his new friend. He knew from experience how good he was at that. Instead, he let his thoughts wander to how different he felt from just a few days prior when he was sure he was being cast off again. Now, not only did he still have his Uncles, but he also had a new friend that hopefully would be by his side for life.
As the months passed by and the four moved to Palo Alto so that the boys could go to Stanford and Stephen could start his new teaching position there, the two teenagers bonded even further. Plans for the new house were changed slightly as the two boys found they liked sharing a room. So instead, Sam’s room was turned into a small study for the two boys and Spencer’s bedroom was used for sleeping and storage. They bonded over Star Wars and debated things like Scooby Doo Vs. ThunderCats.
Over the years they found that their classes became both diverse and similar. Sam pretty much stuck to his Criminal Justice courses but added Psychology when Spencer picked it up. He then took some anthropology classes for fun, and when Spencer decided that it sounded cool, he took some too. However, Sam had no interest in Spencer’s math, and chemistry and Spencer had no interested in Sam’s Phys Ed classes.
Sam went along on the various family trips to England, as he was already familiar with the Paddingtons from the multiple times Tony visited, or they came to see him. It didn’t take long for those familiar with the situation to see that the bond between Sam and Spencer was going to be as permanent as the one between Dean and Tony, who had gone through the Police Academy together and were currently working for the Peoria PD. No one expected it to last very long there though because most of the cops there weren’t very accepting or understanding of Tony’s situation and most expected the two to move on sooner rather than later.
Like Tony and Dean, as Sam and Spencer grew up and became more aware of their bodies and their sexuality, they would find each other the best options to explore and learn. Also, like the older boys, this would create lifetime bonds that would carry them well past their entries into adulthood. Stephen and Marcus worried at times along the way, but eventually, it was Isabella Paddington, Stephen’s sister-in-law that would advise them that their relationships were their own businesses and no one else’s. She would also frankly remind Stephen of all the time he spent sewing his wild oats both before and after he met his Mate. After a while, the two Guardians would settle down and instead of worrying, just try to use their life experiences to guide their charges.
Once Spencer turned eighteen, things would obviously change again, but by then some things would be set in stone, and it would take an opportunity of a lifetime to alter them. Until then, their relationships would be their own, and anyone else’s opinions would be disregarded as irrelevant.
~~*~~*~~* End Flashback ~~*~~*~~*