Hi, all! It's me again, with a new story to tickle your Destiel-shipping hearts (and yes, it's all Destiel this time.) You will notice that there is no sexual content or language in this chapter, and that's because I decided to play a game with you all: "How Many Emotions Can I Fit in One Scene?" Answer: Well, if I've done it right, about a thousand. Next scene is a little more mature, though.
Blah-blah-blah Eric Kripke, Supernatural, not for monetary gain, whatever.
The little boy was probably about three years old. Already, he had his father's green eyes and his mother's light-brown hair. Those freckles, though—they'd come from hours in the sun.
He ran a good fifteen feet ahead of his parents as they walked to the park, but once he realized how far behind they were, he doubled back, ran around their legs, and charged ahead again.
This made his father laugh. "A ball of energy, that kid."
His mother just smiled fondly.
When they arrived at the park, there were only two others around: two other little boys, one who looked to be around six or seven years old, and one who was somewhere between three and five. The older one, a boy with long, golden-blond hair, was sitting on a bench, watching the younger dark-haired one playing on the jungle gym. The little boy with his parents hardly paid either of the other children any heed—he dashed off to the sandbox and started packing sand in a round blue bucket.
"Dean," his mother started to call, but his father put his hand on her arm.
"He's fine—we'll just have him shake out his shoes before we get home."
Dean, meanwhile, carefully overturned the bucket and held it down against the sand. He lifted the bucket and was disappointed to see the pile peter out into a formless mound. Brow furrowed in frustration, he tried again, methodically shoveling sand into the bucket as though he could force it to stay perfectly formed by his own sheer will.
"That's not going to work," said a small voice behind him.
Dean turned his upper body around and looked up. It was the dark-haired boy who'd been on the jungle gym only a few minutes before. The first thing that registered in Dean's mind was that this boy had the bluest eyes he'd ever seen in his life. The second thing that registered was what the boy had said. "Why not?" he asked, looking back into the bucket as if it would reveal the secret on its own.
"The sand needs to be wet. Otherwise, it won't stick. Here, look." The dark-haired little boy held out his hand over the sand and it immediately grew darker, changing from the same light-brown as Dean's hair to a much darker brown. "Now try."
But Dean could only look at this boy with a mix of fear and wonder. "How did you do that?" he demanded.
The boy shrugged. "I don't know. I just do. But…" He lowered his voice. "My brother doesn't like it when I do stuff like that. He thinks I'll get in trouble." He suddenly looked at Dean fearfully. "You won't tell him, right?"
Dean shook his head. "No, I won't."
He smiled. "Thank you. Can I play with you?"
Dean nodded. "Sure."
The little boy plopped down in the sand across from Dean and picked up a green square pail and two little plastic shovels. He handed one shovel to Dean and for several long minutes, the two worked together in silence. By an unspoken agreement, they overturned their buckets right next to each other, and when they lifted them, Dean saw that the other boy was right—the sand was retaining its shape. "Hey, neat!" he said excitedly, grinning at the boy.
The boy smiled and set his little green pail aside. As Dean started packing more sand into his own bucket, the other boy reached across the sand pit to pick up another sandcastle mold—this time, an squat orange one that looked like a castle wall. As he did so, though, his arm knocked against the tower Dean had made and it toppled into nothing. As if he'd been burned, he jerked his arm back, his eyes filling with tears.
"Hey! You did that on purpose!" Dean said accusingly, staring at his now-ruined handiwork.
"No, I didn't! It was an accident!"
"You're a liar!" Even before the words left his mouth, though, Dean regretted them. He knew the other boy wasn't lying—he saw him reaching for the sandcastle mold. But when he looked back and saw that the tears filling the boy's eyes were spilling down his cheeks, it almost broke his little heart.
For a moment, Dean took in his toddler-chubby cheeks streaked with tears, his tiny body heaving with silent sobs, his impossibly blue eyes scrunched closed. Then Dean stood up, crossed the two feet separating them, and dropped to his knees, hugging him tightly. "I'm sorry," he said quietly, knowing the other boy would hear him. "I didn't mean it."
"Yeah. My mom says I say things without thinking them through. I don't know what that means, but I think it means I'm dumb."
He felt the other boy return his hug, putting his arms around him and squeezing. "I don't think you're dumb."
"I do. I shouldn't've made you cry."
The boy sniffled. "It's okay."
Dean pulled back. "Wanna be my friend?"
The boy smiled and nodded.
Dean smiled back. "Okay. I'm Dean."
"Hello, Dean. I'm Castiel."
"Cas-tee-el," the little boy repeated, unable to hold back a small smile at the butchered pronunciation of his name.
"Can I just call you Cas?"
"I don't wanna play in the sand anymore. Wanna play on the playscape?"
"I thought that was just for big kids."
"My mom and dad are here. If they're watching us, it's okay."
"Cool!" Dean jumped to his feet and waited until Castiel picked himself up and wiped his cheeks before dashing off to the brightly-colored structure. Castiel chased after him and for the rest of the afternoon, the two of them played on all the slides and swung from the monkey bars and charged along the chain bridges, yelling and cheering and laughing. When Dean's mom finally called him back over so they could walk home, Dean hid underneath a slide next to Castiel. "I don't wanna go home," he said. "I wanna stay here with you, Cas."
"You can come back tomorrow," Castiel said. "We come here almost every day. I promise to be here tomorrow if you promise."
Dean nodded rapidly. "I promise!" he vowed. He poked his head out from behind the slide and saw that his dad was still sitting on the bench, meaning his mom was ready to leave but his dad wasn't. He still had a little more time.
"Maybe you can come play at my house later," Dean said.
Castiel smiled. "I would like that." Without preamble, he leaned over and kissed Dean's cheek.
Dean felt himself blushing even though he wasn't quite sure why. He looked at Castiel for a moment, his mouth hanging open in shock—Castiel had just kissed him!—when he heard his mom's voice calling him again, a little louder and more firmly this time.
"I'm sorry," Castiel said, looking embarrassed and staring at his shoes. "I shouldn't have done that."
Dean quickly leaned in and kissed his cheek, too, and then dashed out from behind the slide. He didn't see Castiel's smile, but he felt it.
The next day, after much pleading and whining, Dean's mom and dad finally agreed to take him back to the park. Dean ran around the house all day, almost bouncing off his seat during breakfast and lunch in anticipation. His mom had to fight to get him to pick up his toys, a task he was usually barely tolerant of to begin with. He could barely sit still even during his favorite TV show, Tom & Jerry. He couldn't wait to see Castiel again.
Finally, at three, his mom called him to the door. "Want to go to the park, Dean?"
"Yes!" He jumped off the couch and ran to the door, bouncing on the balls of his feet. "Let's go, let's go, let's go!"
She laughed. "Hold on, Dean. We have to wait for Daddy."
"Daddy! Hurry up!" Dean called, bouncing in a circle.
From their bedroom, Dean heard his dad laugh, and a few moments later, he emerged, closing the door behind him. "Okay, son, I'm ready to go."
"Yes! Let's go!"
The walk back to the park was excruciatingly long for poor Dean, who was so excited that every second felt like a week. He charged farther and farther ahead of his parents until he heard his mom call him back, and he reluctantly returned, slowing his pace to match theirs. Finally, though, just as Dean was going out of his mind with anticipation, they arrived.
The park was empty.
"Aw, honey, I'm sure Cas will be here soon," his mom said soothingly once she realized he wasn't there. "Why don't you go play until he gets here?"
Dean shook his head and patiently climbed onto the bench between his parents.
Dean's dad knew how much Dean had looked forward to this all day. "It's okay, Dean. We'll wait here for him."
The minutes turned into an hour, which turned into two. By five-fifteen, Dean had pulled his knees up to his chest and put his head in his arms, trying to will away the tears that threatened to overflow, but he was no match.
Where is Cas? He said he'd be here. He chanced a glance up, hoping that Castiel had appeared sometime between when he'd closed his eyes and now, but with no luck. He promised.
"Honey," Dean's mom said gently, running her fingers through his short, baby-fine hair. "We have to go. It's almost time for dinner. Aren't you hungry? I can make macaroni and cheese tonight, and we can go to Dairy Queen and get you some pie after."
Macaroni and cheese was Dean's favorite dinner, and he loved pie. But all the pie in the world wasn't enough to distract him from the crushing disappointment—Castiel was not here. He said he'd be here. Why isn't he here? He shook his head sadly. "I'm not hungry." He would have gladly never eaten pie or macaroni and cheese again, happily have lived off broccoli and carrots and other bunny food for the rest of his life if he got to see Castiel again.
"He promised, Mommy. He promised me that he'd be here." His voice was trembling and his eyes were red and shining with tears. "Just a little longer, please."
She looked up at Dean's dad, who nodded. "Okay, sweetie. We'll wait another fifteen minutes. But if Cas hasn't come by then, we need to go home."
Dean's lower lip stuck out, but he finally nodded. "Okay."
At five-twenty-nine, Dean had just about given up. He reluctantly slid off the bench and kicked at a rock before sighing, "Okay, I'm ready."
"I'm sorry, Dean," his mom said gently.
The three of them started down the pathway to the main sidewalk when, seemingly from nowhere, a small figure emerged, running toward them. It took Dean only a moment to recognize that dark, messy hair. "Cas!" he yelled, suddenly charging forward to meet him. They met halfway, hugging each other tightly, before Dean said, "I can't believe you're really here."
"I promised, didn't I?"
"Hi, Cas!" Dean's dad said. "We're Dean's parents. Are you hungry?"
Castiel appeared to think for a moment, and then he nodded.
"Well, we're about to make dinner. Would you like to have dinner with us? We can call your mom and ask her if it's okay, too. I know Dean's been waiting to see you all day and it's a shame to leave right when you get here."
Castiel nodded again. "I would like that, sir."
"Good. Let's go."
"Yes!" Dean cheered, and then he grabbed Castiel's hand and led them all the way back to his house.
Twenty-five years passed in the blink of an eye. The very next May, Dean got a little brother named Sam. He started kindergarten the year after. Then first grade, and then elementary school was gone. Middle school passed in a blur, and high school was a whirlwind of school clubs, the cross-country team, dances, and college applications. He was never a great student—unlike Sam, who excelled at everything he tried, but he never resented him for it—but somehow he got accepted to a state college not too far from home. He majored in communications, something he didn't particularly care about, but he had the degree. Once he graduated, he started working with his dad at the auto repair shop he owned, now called Winchester & Son.
And through all of it, Castiel was at Dean's side, through the Lara Fowler incident of third grade to the tragic deaths of Mr. Skeen's pet mice to senior prom to the one college party when Dean got so drunk, he spray-painted the windows of the college president's car. No one besides the two of them knew who actually did it because the camera trained on his car mysteriously stopped working.
So it didn't surprise anyone when, after twenty-five years, Dean and Castiel finally announced their engagement. Dean's parents suspected somewhere around the time he was twenty and still hadn't had a girlfriend what was actually going on, but neither of them cared—they just wanted to see Dean happy, and Castiel clearly made him happy. From the first day they met to the day they finally said "I do," it was always clear to everyone that they belonged together.
So, did I manage to hit you right in the feels? (I REALLY hope I did.)