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02 August 2012 @ 10:47 am
Home in Motion: A Supernatural Dean/Cas Fanfic Ch. 11  
Title: Home in Motion
Story Summary: Castiel swore he was done with spur of the moment decisions that permanently changed dean Winchester's life. A year after the angel's most disastrous, his newest may present the largest challenge of dean's life: Fatherhood.
Pairing: Dean/Cas eventually.
Chapter: 11 All Comes Crashing Down
Chapter Summary: In a moment alone with his son, Dean contemplates fatherhood as a hunter.
Warnings: Spoilers through the end of season 6 and potential spoilers for events in 7, though for the sake of the story's flow, season 7 didn't happen the way it did in the show. (I just may need to borrow beasties.)



Chapter 11
All Comes Crashing Down

"Until you have a son of your own ... you will never know the sense of honor that makes a man want to be more than he is and pass something good and hopeful into the hands of his son. And you will never know the heartbreak of the fathers who are haunted by the personal demons that keep them from being the men they want their sons to be."

Kent Nergern, Letters to My Son


Dean found himself in the hotel with a slightly fussy baby--by Johnny's standards, at least; kid didn't actually fuss because it had never done him any good before with his bitch mother--who had not been satisfied with just the rice cereal. Cas was on his way to Emma's, and Dean knew the angel would have to take enough time and make enough of a show of cleaning up her place so that she wouldn't get suspicious. Though she was apparently handling the whole skinwalker attack remarkably well, Dean wasn't sure she would cope so well with an angel zapping away the evidence. Bobby was busy investigating the dog park, speaking to a few of the owners and observing the animals for other potential skinwalkers they could track that night.

Dean had been left with the laptop and phone to find out the professor's address and any other necessary information so they could observe his dog's movements tonight. But Dean wasn't getting much of anything done at the moment as Johnny whimpered in the crib and he stood shaking a bottle of formula.

He considered just handing it to the baby, but he couldn't bring himself to do that, not knowing that Johnny's mother had fed him that way for much of his short life. Besides, Johnny liked human contact, so who was Dean to deny that to him? After all, if he could sit down, he could more or less support Johnny with just one arm while he looked up this professor. Even though Sam had taught him the proper way to type, Dean was still a pro at hunt and peck for nearly everything, especially something short like this; he was going to be looking up one address, not trying to write the next Great American Novel. So, he picked the baby up and cradled him in his left arm while he offered the bottle with his right.

"Well, little guy, you're getting one hell of an introduction to the life of a Winchester. Ten months old and already on a hunt." It made Dean half sick to think that the skinwalker in the park had seen his boy and might have gotten his son's scent. This time, the whole situation had been entirely accidental, but the danger to even the smallest member of their family was something Dean knew he'd have to accept eventually because things like this came with the territory of being a Winchester.

The list of those things wasn't an especially short one, but somewhere between "angels and demons will fuck up your life" and "you'll do stupid crap for family" was the rule that "your life will end up in danger, no matter how hard anyone tries.." It didn't mean he wanted that for Johnny so young--not at all, really.

It bothered him most that he had only been a parent for all of three days before he had placed Johnny in danger. His father had made it years with Sammy--that Dean knew of--and the first instance he could actually think of had been that Shtriga, so really, the only reason the younger of the brothers had been in danger was because he'd been left in another's care--in Dean's care.

But Johnny hadn't actually been in danger, not really. Dean had left him with Cas, the one member of their merry little band that was genuinely capable of removing Johnny entirely from harm's way. Dean, Sam, Bobby, they'd have all tried their best and they would have guarded him, but it would have been a gamble, not a sure thing that Johnny would be safe. Cas could pop out in case of immediate peril, get Johnny instantly back to the motel, or Bobby's house.

Cas was, in more ways than one, responsible for why Dean had said yes to fatherhood. Not only had the manipulative winged bastard shown him the kid's soul and assured the hunter that the beautiful, heartwrenching thing was similar to Dean's own, but he knew the angel could help protect Johnny in a way Dean couldn't do on his own. Cas had promised, more than once over the last few days, to help him through this and support Dean in caring for Johnny. There was no doubt in Dean's mind that his friend meant every word of it.

But Cas wouldn't always be around to keep Johnny safe. And there was a hell of a lot more to raising a child than just keeping it alive and unmaimed. Dean understood that, though he didn't know how well he could achieve it for his son.

My son.

There was a phrase that was going to take some getting used to. He'd awkwardly tried to describe Ben that way before, but he'd never said it outright. Though he'd been close with the boy and both Ben and Lisa had tried to include him as much as possible, it was inevitable that he would feel like a stepfather at times. More than once Ben had gotten angry enough to throw up the "You're not my real father!" line, though he'd always apologized after and told Dean that he wished he were.

But Johnny? He'd seen the kid's soul, and he had an angel telling him he would be a good father to this boy. He was going to get to be there from nearly the beginning, and even though he was sure that his brother and Bobby found this as absurd and reckless as he did, he sort of liked the thought. While Sam had always had loftier goals of getting out of hunting, going to school and becoming a lawyer, Dean had only ever wanted one thing, though he'd thought it more impossible than Sam's dreams. Having a family and being a hunter didn't mesh. Their father and every hunter's kid they had ever met had been proof of that. How quickly Dean, himself, had derailed into John Winchester-isms with Ben was, too.

So while Johnny was a sort of wish granted for Dean, he also presented a whole host of problems beyond just being a new father. He made Dean worry about possible futures that no man should have to consider for his son. This boy was going to be his, and the last thing he wanted was to know there was another broken man walking around with the name Winchester. Johnny would not be the typical hunter's kid. Dean would see him adopted into a nice, normal family first.

Dean didn't have much of an example of a long-term father figure dealing with children appropriately. Bobby had been there as much as his father had allowed, but there would be months between visits before the big blow-up that kept him out of their lives for years. The rest of the time, it had been just John, Sam and Dean, or more often, just Sam and Dean. When his father had been around, he drank or he planned or he trained; if Sam got hurt or went missing, well, Dean had paid dearly; and when he'd been concerned about his family's safety, his father had taught his sons--Dean much earlier than Sam--how to defend themselves and kill. He didn't want to follow that pattern and would do everything he could not to become "Sir" more often than "Dad."

And what if he did his best, like he had with Sam and his son hated him for it the way Sam still resented their father? Would Johnny become the sort of adult whose fondest childhood memories included the times he got away? That still stung, even two years later. Just thinking about it was like salt poured on an open wound and reminded him why he had been so quick to throw away the amulet.

Yet, Sam was probably the best case scenario. God help Johnny if he turned out like him. Blindly following orders, most of the time feeling worthless, certain his father had a favorite and it wasn't him, finding out that he probably wasn't even a close second because there had been another son who didn't even have to live like a fucking hunter... And what if the kid turned out to be a hunter? How old would he be when he made his first kill?

And even if Johnny wasn't doomed to repeat Dean's past, he could very well learn about it. There were plenty of demons who would love nothing more than to harm Dean through his child. He couldn't blame them, either. After everything he did... There were a host of new demons who would be after Dean's blood.

"Really, Sweetie? You don't remember me? I usually leave a better impression on men. And I thought we had something special, Dean."

Dean shuddered at the memory of the voice that had been haunting his dreams the last few weeks.

He looked down at the baby in his arms, and while he wasn't sure he could part with the boy, not after what Cas had done, he found himself on the verge of a panic attack just at the thought of how many ways he could screw the kid up. How even the knowledge of what Dean had done could fuck him up for life.

#

Castiel was prepared to do this clean-up properly. He had already forced the skinwalker's body back into dog form and was in the process of moving the blood elsewhere. Sam had explained when the angel had arrived that it would be best for the body to be in the road and hit by a car as a cover for the real reason for its death. Apparently, Emma had signed an agreement in which she promised to take care of the dog and report back to the shelter about medical treatments.

To save her any trouble from the local animal control authorities, Sam had suggested that Castiel do his best to replicate a car accident. He would carry the body out of the apartment, then wait for a car to come and place it in the road in front of the first oncoming vehicle. It was not a difficult task, it merely took a little patience. He had once had a great deal of it, though his time among the Winchesters had reduced his ability to wait dutifully immensely.

Any patience he might have possessed dissipated quickly when his bond with Dean signaled that the man was in distress. The angel had left their connection far more open than he normally did, not that Dean was aware he was so open to Castiel, making the link considerably stronger than Dean probably would have liked, but it was to ensure Johnny's safety. He was fairly certain that the hunter wouldn't mind in this instance.

Castiel quickly dismissed the "dog" to the front road and made it look like it had been hit by a car. He only barely remembered that Emma was still in her front room and that he could not simply pop out of the apartment with no explanation. That didn't mean, however, that he would linger long enough for more than a very quick good-bye.

He quickly moved through the apartment, and as he passed Sam and Emma, he said simply. "Your pet is on the front road. I recommend you run out and look unhappy when you find it."

Emma looked at him curiously, but he was gone before she could ask a question like, "what do you mean?" or "how did you do that when the only exit is right here?" Castiel could hear Sam yelling after him, asking him what was wrong, but the moment he was outside on the small porch of Emma's upstairs apartment, he vanished.

He found Dean and Johnny looking relatively unharmed, which only served to raise more questions than it answered. Yet, he knew he had sensed worry and fear from Dean. He still sensed it.

The hunter looked up, now accustomed to Castiel's sudden arrivals, not to mention surprisingly perceptive enough to sense when the angel came to him; it was rare that he managed to get the jump on the hunter anymore. "You finished quickly," he said before Castiel could ask what was wrong.

"I sensed your distress," he answered. Though it appeared there had been no actual harm to his charge or his son, that didn't mean the angel would let this go without comment. "But the body's disposal has been taken care of."

Dean opened his mouth, either to explain what Castiel had sensed or to get angry that the angel had once again been lurking in his head. Castiel never found out which it was, as Dean's a loud guitar wail signaled that Dean's phone was ringing, which interrupted the man's train of thought.

He fished it out of his pocket, careful not to disturb Johnny as he did. "Hey, Sammy." Dean gave Castiel an odd look as Sam very likely described his sudden departure from Emma's home. "Yeah. He's here. Guess he was being nosy and picked up on me having a well-deserved, but time-delayed freakout about being a dad. How's the girl doing, by the way, you asshole?"

Castiel didn't know what Sam said in return, but just in talking to him, Dean was visibly relaxing. "You could have corrected her, you know." He readjusted Johnny so he was resting against the hunter's chest. "I thought about it, but considering she wanted 'the wife' and I to make the kid at the restaurant feel better about being gay, I couldn't exactly freak out about it. Kid was watching us, and he reminded me a little of you at that age. Couldn't exactly let mini-Sam down."

Dean paused and listened to whatever it was Sam was saying on the other end. "Sure he did. You're just too close to the situation to see it." He wore a smirk for a moment as Sam was likely sputtering for a reply. Castiel could not make out the words that followed, but the tone from the older Winchester was smug. "Dude, Cas and I met her while we were shopping for the kid, and you know how he is with personal space. I'd be more surprised if she didn't think we were gay for each other."

Dean let out a bark of a laugh that made the angel smile, though he was quick to muffle it back to a snicker so as not to wake the baby. Castiel was pleased that his charge had calmed at least slightly and that worry he'd experienced had begun to fade. That he had hoped to relieve the man's stress himself was pushed to the furthest recesses of the angel's mind. The results mattered here, not who brought them about.

"Sorry to disappoint you, Bitch." Dean waited a moment--probably for the obligatory "Jerk" from Sam--before he hung up.

"So..." Dean said as he set the phone down on the table in front of him. "You were nosing around in my head again."

"You had Johnny," Castiel replied. "I make no apologies for using our bond to make certain he is safe."

"There's no reason to be defensive. I'm surprisingly OK with it."

"You were very troubled earlier. I believed Johnny was in danger." Sitting down for a chat was not an action that came naturally to him, but he sat on the nearest bed anyway. He knew this would make Dean more inclined to speak about what had caused him such distress earlier, if he would at all. Castiel knew better than to assume the man would talk. It would merely increase the slight odds that he may.

"Will you be able to do that? Tap into my head or the kid's to know if he's in danger?"

"You will be no trouble. My grace left its mark on you." Some of it had even remained behind, but given Dean's distaste for all things angelic, he thought it best not to mention that. He instead turned his focus on the boy now resting on Dean's chest. "Johnny's soul is very similar to yours, but without the taint of the demon blood that repels me as happens with Sam. I assume it would be as easy for me to track him as it is to do with Bobby." Perhaps simpler, since Johnny was not at a point in his life where he would fight the angel's presence as Bobby would.

Castiel noted as he looked at the hunter that Dean's had moved from Johnny's back to the mark that he still bore on his shoulder. As soon as the man realized he'd been caught, his hand resumed its soothing presence at his son's back.

"There may be times I cannot respond, however. As I couldn't save Jo or Ellen due to the holy fire. Or if I were to find myself engaged in another battle in heaven." He did not imagine the latter of those two scenarios would occur again in Johnny's lifetime. For the first time in centuries, millennia, perhaps, order and leadership had begun to take hold in heaven. "Or if I should find myself cut off once again.

"Those are all extreme situations, which would not be necessary to mention, if we didn't have an existence of such extremes."

Dean let out a snort. "That's one hell of a way to put it."

"I believe that Balthazar would help. Metatron as well, if I asked him. They each have an affinity to humanity." The angel saw a frown appearing on Dean's face. "I will introduce you to Metatron before it becomes an issue."

"I'd appreciate it," Dean said. "I don't want the kid spending time around dick angels if I can avoid it. Balthazar would be fine, I guess. In small doses. Really small. But let's just keep you away from the rings of fire."

The hunter stood and carried Johnny over to the crib. He was careful, surprisingly natural as he lowered the baby to his bed.

"That was the source of your worry? Whether or not I would be present to protect Johnny?" Castiel tried to pretend that something in him wasn't warmed by the idea that Dean had such faith in him that he counted on the angel to protect his family. For the self-reliant hunter, admitting a need for help of any kind was staggering in its enormity.

The hunter took a seat beside the angel and stared at the wall and door to the hotel. "Among other things."

"You are worried about his safety and your ability to be a father," Castiel stated. He had no need to ask.

"You know that Johnny's safe, so why are you still poking around in my head," Dean groused.

"There is no need for me to be in your head to know this, Dean. You are projecting." Blue eyes scanned the hunched figure beside him. He had seen Dean or Sam occasionally offer some form of physical touch as a form of comfort when one or the other was troubled. Castiel considered doing the same, but he wasn't sure how, didn't know if it would be welcomed, and instead he purposely folded his hands between his knees and leaned forward so that his forearms could rest upon his legs.

Dean's body then moved to mirror Castiel's own. The slumped posture suited the hunter's mood, which created a dismal aura throughout the room. The man's knee touched the angel's as he shifted further forward, then scrubbed his hands over his face and sighed. "I don't exactly have the best examples of a full-time father."

The angel offered a small smirk as he glanced to his side. "I can relate." That earned him a huff of laughter. "But I would not have brought Johnny to you if I didn't believe in you, Dean. You should never have had to do so, but you raised Sam on your own, and he is a credit to your efforts as both brother and father." Dean opened his mouth to argue otherwise.

"Sam had his issues, to be certain, but you can hardly take the blame for what fate, Azazel and your father's relationship with him have done to Sam." The angel knew that the Winchester patriarch was not solely a bad influence. Otherwise, he could not have produced two sons like Sam and Dean. "That Sam has happy memories of his childhood, a sense of consistency and someone to act as his bedrock, that's on you, Dean."

Awkwardly, he moved his left hand to rest on Dean's knee and give it a reassuring--at least he hoped so--squeeze. "If you doubt that, ask Sam about the amulet." Dean gave him an odd look, and since Castiel wasn't sure if it was about the sudden contact or the mention of the long-vanished amulet, or both, he removed his hand from the man's leg. It was the only thing of the two he could fix.

As for the other, he knew was that the amulet was Sam's story to tell.


 
 
 
Typo Queenvexed_wench on August 2nd, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
I am loving Dean here. Cas is right he is the reason Sam was not a total drooling mess his whole life.