Hey guys! Sorry for it being such a long time since I updated. I had a bit of a rough patch there (got into a relationship, broke up, and then had to move). BUT I'm back and I tried to write a nice and long chapter for you (really two chapters in one - hence the title). Warning though, this is the middle of the story so we are at harder points of the story. There has to be some conflict and I attempted to do my best to portray some of the struggles of the lgbt community.
This story has become so much more than what I ever expected. And I cannot thank you guys enough for keeping me writing. I want to do this story justice which is why I'm getting into some nittier and grittier content. Nothing I think that should change the rating of the story, but just a warning for those who had sad chapters.
"Jodie, We've known each other since we were teenagers, the least you can do is call me Mary."
"Mary. Look I understand that this situation is difficult."
"No, It's really not difficult. It's quite simple. My son wants to go to the Winter Dance with his boyfriend. A boy, yes, shocking. A boy who will be a student transferring into school starting after winter break, I might remind you."
"I'm not finished, Jodie."
Jodie cleared her throat and sat back in her seat.
"You know Dean. He is a good kid. All of the issues that have happened this year have not been because of him doing anything wrong, it's the small mindedness of this school and other parents. Cass is a good kid too. They've never done anything wrong to deserve this. They simply want to go out like all other kids. Drink that disgusting punch, slow dance awkwardly, and have fun with their friends. The parent guidance board doesn't have the power to discriminate against my son."
"Mary, I feel for you-"
"What would you be doing, Jodie? If one of your girls came out to you and couldn't bring the person they were dating to a dance? A stupid dance that really in the grand scheme doesn't matter which means it matters most of all because its all the stupid things that make you feel butterflies for someone. What would you say to her? It's just school policy. Take a friend and maybe sneak a dance here or there if no one is watching? If a parent thinks you're too close will they be kicked out? If a parent judges my son and his boyfriend for being completely and perfectly normal? What would you do if that was one of your girls?"
"Mary, I know this is a difficult situation."
"No, its simple. Overrule the PGB."
"I don't have the authority to do that, Mary."
"You have influence."
"Which is why you are being formally invited to the PGB's meeting tomorrow, which of course I think Dean and Cass should be there for."
Mary raised her eyebrows and sat back in her chair.
"I won't expose my son to that type of judgement from people in this community. I've tried to protect them and you want me to bring them into the snake pit?"
"I want you to bring two teen boys to a meeting so that those parents think of their own kids. So that they see them as real and not some imaginary enemy that is out to demoralize our neighborhood." Jodie swallowed and looked at Mary. "Look, Mary, I'm on your side. When the Lisa situation occurred I stepped in. It was on school grounds it was during school hours. She was punished. The problem is that the Winter Dance isn't officially a school event. Its advertised in the school but the students activities committee which is lead by the parents guidance board and all the money goes to local church charities. Your best bet is that meeting."
"This is ridiculous."
They sat in silence for a moment.
"Where is John?" Jodie asked.
"He's with Bobby. I called him." Mary's voice got softer. "Things have been good though, before this. It seemed. Dean has never kept anything too much from us."
"And this Cass Novak seems like a lovely kid."
"He really is." Mary shuffled the bag in her lap. "Will you be at the meeting?"
"I'll bring Dean. I cannot promise that Cass will be there. I'll have to call his parents and see what they think."
"Yes. You'll want to prepare Dean and Cass. It's a slim chance, Mary."
"This is all so wrong."
"I know. I wish I could do more. I would change it in a heartbeat."
Dean outside the office leaned his head up against the wall. He was glad that he had called him Mom. He knew it had been the right thing to do. He wished that Principle Mills would invest more money on soundproofing though. He had been hoping for him mom to come out and say everything had been figured out. He wanted it to be over before it had started, but life wasn't going to be that simple.
"Its all really stupid."
"Yeah, I think so too."
"You and Cass wouldn't be all gross and mushy anyway. Who knows if you'd even dance."
Dean looked over at his little brother and grinned.
"Oh we'd totally dance."
"Okay, take it back. Gross I don't want to hear about you and your boyfriend."
Dean grinned wider. "I'd kiss him, hold his hand-"
"One day Sammy. You and that Jess girl are going to be all mushy and gross too."
"Never going to happen."
Dean raised his hands in a "Okay, Sammy, whatever you say."
This had felt like the longest day of Dean's life. All day at school he had been mulling over what had happened the day before in the principle's office between his mom and Jodie Mills. And then when they had gotten home his mom had gone into to the kitchen, told Dean and Sam to go play some games or something and had been on the phone for a long time afterward. Dean had texted Cass to find out if it was his parents she was talking to. It was his mom on the phone. They talked for a long while. The whole time Dean texted with Cass. He told him the whole story as best as possible via text and then finally turned his attention to video games due to his brothers behest. After Mary had finished talking with Rebekah she had called their father and had been on the phone with him for a while. She had eventually walked out of the kitchen and told Sammy to go up to his room.
"Dean," she knelt down in front of him where he was sitting on the couch. "Your father isn't going to be able to make it to the meeting tomorrow. He and Bobby are too far out for them to safely get here in time."
Dean nodded slowly. He'd guessed that would happen.
"He'll want to talk with you of course, tomorrow before the meeting. He's so angry. He wants to be here, honey."
"I know he does," Dean said.
"But I talked with Rebekah and she and her husband will be there tomorrow with Cass. They agree with me that this is an extremely important step that has to be taken for both of you boys."
"Cass' dad works evenings though. And Mrs. Novak isn't well."
"Don't worry about that. Mr. Novak will figure that out. And Rebekah assures me she will be there no matter what. They both understand the importance of this."
Dean nodded and then slide back. He wished he could slip into the couch and disappear.
"Why does it have to be this way Mom? I just wanted to buy dance tickets."
Mary took his hand.
"People are so stubborn to change. They see something different and they get scared and confused about it so they just block it out. Nothing about this is about you. This is about a system that's been at work for years."
Dean sat up and looked at his mother.
"But it is me. The parents that are on that board know me. These aren't strangers in some weird courtroom. These are parents of people I see everyday. Why would they do this to me?"
Mary wrapped her arms around Dean. "
It's not fair. I wish this was easier. It should be completely wonderful." she pulled back a little. "Your first love is the best, everything should be magical. If I could I would make every single monster you face disappear from your life, but I can't always do that. I will always do my best to protect you though. I'm just so glad you brought this to my attention."
Mary released Dean and stood up.
"What happens if they don't change the policy?"
Mary gave a little smile.
"We'll ask that question once we're there."
"All my friends will be at the dances. If I can't go to this one whose to say they'll let me at any function with him?"
"You'll be able to have all those moments. I promise," Mary said.
"I know you and Dad said it was going to be hard, but it had seemed like after Lisa it had finally calmed down."
"It'll get better. I promise it will get better. Maybe our little part of Kansas might be slow in evolving, but the world is a large place filled with all sorts of opinions There are many places out there where you and Cass wouldn't just be accepted, but celebrated for your strength and courage to come out so proudly."
Dean couldn't help but chuckle.
"You've been reading up on this stuff haven't you?"
Mary gave a little smile.
"I occasionally stumble upon a book or website for parents of lgbt youth."
"Thanks, Mom, for everything."
"I'll always love you, Dean. I'll always do my best to give you everything I can."
"I know. I love you too, Mom."
"I love you too, Mom," Sam said from the stairwell.
Mary turned quite suddenly toward the stairs.
"Samuel Winchester, were you eavesdropping on me and your brother?"
"I was bored."
"Sammy! Get here!"
Dean jumped up from the couch and raced up the stairs as his brother ran in front racing toward the protection of his bedroom.
"Boys! No running in the house!"
Now what felt like eons later Dean sat in the hard chair in the small city hall meeting room. The members of the parent guidance board were filtering and shaking hands with one another. He shifted in his seat.
Dean turned and saw Cass standing slightly behind him. His hair looked like he had attempted to comb it down, but it was still it's naturally messy state. He was wearing a nice shirt and tie under his trenchcoat. He looked like a miniature business man who had just come home from a long day of work.
Cass sat down next to him in the empty chair and Dean looked down at his lap. He and Cass had been texting back and forth but it had been a while since he'd seen him.
"I hate this," Dean finally said. He looked up at Cass who was staring back with his too brightly blue eyes. His nose looked like it had been healing really well. "I just want to hold your hand, and kiss you and take you to this stupid dance."
Cass didn't say anything. He looked over to where the board members were starting to sit down in their chairs. He reached out and took Deans hand and intertwined their fingers. His thumb rubbed on the edge of Dean's hand where their fingers laced together. Cass' parents sat down next to Cass. Rebekah looked like she had tried to put on some makeup to hide the fact that she was sick. Dean could see the pain on her face when she sat down slowly, but both she and her husband had a set look of determination that he thought that she still looked like she'd be a force to contend with.
"Mom and Dad had to force Michael to stay home and watch Anna while they came to this."
"I bet he hated that."
"He would have torn them to pieces if they let him come."
"He might still."
"They should be very scared."
Dean chuckled a little.
"All right, lets get started with the meeting. We are here discussing the winter events going on. I've been informed by Principle Jodie Mills that there is a current complaint over the planned Winter formal that is set for mid December. What is the complaint?"
Mary Winchester stood up and went over to the speaker phone that looked like it had very little use. It wasn't even set up correctly. Dean realized that these meeting must usually go without guest appearances from other concerned parents.
"Mary Winchester here." Mary shifted the mic higher so she didn't have to awkwardly lean down. "I'm here due to the current policy of the board regarding my son from attending the Winter Formal with his boyfriend."
"Yes, we do have that policy in place."
Mary cleared her throat. "Well we would like to get that policy overturned. The board may have had this policy for a long while but times have changed and my son is the first out student this school has ever had and he should be able to bring his boyfriend to the dance."
"The policy was set in place to promote a healthy and safe environment for students."
Mary scoffed and her eyes got big.
"There is nothing unhealthy about my son's relationship."
"May I add something?" came an interjecting voice.
"Yes, Principle Mills. It was you who brought this issue to our attention."
"Yes. Well thats because Dean Winchester has been an outstanding student. And Castiel Novak, the other boy, will be attending the high school after the winter break and also has never had any record of any sort. They simply want to attend the dance together." Principle Mills looked like she couldn't understand how to explain it in any easier terms. It made sense to Dean. It really was stupidly simple. "The policy in place is out of date. It needs to be changed."
"We have been given reason to believe that this relationship has created quite a few issues at the school and would like to avoid such a situation at this event," said the speaker. Dean recognized him but just couldn't place his name.
"What, may I ask, are the issues you are referring to?"
"You are?" the parent board speaker asked.
"Rebekah Novak, Castiel is my son."
"Yes, well Mrs. Novak, we have had many complaints from students regarding the situation. Students are uncomfortable. We had a number of students submit complaints after Mr. Novak came to visit the school. Kids were worried that Mr. Winchester would attempt to bring Mr. Novak to this dance and of course their parents expressed that concern to us."
"Its just a dance, Zachariah," Mary said. "Stop it with all this formality. A dance. A dance that they happen to just want to go together to. Like any other normal teens."
"Mrs. Winchester, I understand you're angry."
"No, I don't think you understand. This board is discriminating against my son because of who he likes. I don't think you can even imagine how I feel. I'm beyond angry. I'm beyond livid." The mic gave an uncomfortable reverb. Mary stepped back from it and gave it a moment to balance back. "My son's happiness is all I care about."
Rebekah started to get up off her seat, and Chuck helped her. She walked over to the mic and Mary stepped aside to let her speak.
"I don't know you, Mr.?"
"Mr. Adler, do you have a child attending the high school currently?"
"Yes, my daughter Naomi is the chair of the activities committee."
Rebekah pointed toward Cass.
"This is my son Castiel. He likes to garden. He studies more then anyone his age should. He is too smart for his own good," she took a labored breath, "and he takes care of me when I can't remember to."
Dean squeezed Cass' hand.
"Mr. Adler, I need to see my boy come down the stairs dressed up in a suit heading off to a silly school dance with whoever the hell he wants to go with. Because he is good. He is good and kind and in love with another wonderful boy who is also good and kind."
Mary placed her hand on Rebekah's shoulder. Cass got up from his seat and went over to his mother and took her hand and his father went to the mic.
"My son deserves better then this. They both do. They won't be the only gay students you have at this school. The country is changing and you should be ahead of it. History will judge you better for it and parents will appreciate that you are open to change and helping young lgbt youth navigate this world from an early age, not restricting them."
"Mr. Novak, Mrs. Novak, we are terribly sad about the situation that your family is facing. And we understand your concerns. The board will take everything you have said into consideration," Mr. Adler said.
"I'd like to say something."
Dean got up from his seat and went over to the mic. His heart was racing a thousand times a minute.
"Mr. Winchester," Mr. Adler said.
Dean looked down at the mic. He didn't really know what to say. He remembered his conversation with his Mom and with Sammy at the principle's office. He thought about getting angry and yelling about how wrong it all was. How stupid this whole thing was. All Mr. Adler's daughter had to do was sell him couples tickets. He looked over at Cass and realized how important such a silly thing like a winter dance had become not because it was the dance but because he loved Cass. He wanted the moments that would make other people jealous and look at them and wish for a moment they had anything close to what he and Cass had. How could he say that? How could they understand. Dean felt smaller every second he stood there with that mic in front of him.
"I just want to slow dance with my boyfriend. I don't want to convert anyone." Dean sighed. Honesty was the best he supposed. "I just want to have my stupid high school movie moment."
"I know," Mr. Adler said. He shuffled some papers on the table he was sitting on. The other parent board members were looking around awkwardly. But Mr. Adler just nodded his head slowly and looked at Dean until Dean had to glance down at his feet.
Mr. Adler looked at the clock. "That's all the time we have for open mic concerns. If you could please excuse yourself. We'll have a decision by the end of our regular meeting."
All five of them walked slowly out of the hall with Jodi Mills following slowly behind.
Dean supposed it hadn't actually been six hours since he had spoken to Mr. Adler but it definitely felt like it had been. He looked over to Cass who was whispering with his father while looking at his mother who had fallen asleep in her chair. Chuck went over to Mary and said something quietly and she nodded, took his hand and squeezed it. Mr. Novak went over to his wife and woke her. He helped her up and they slowly began to walk to the exit.
Cass came over to Dean.
"Is your mom okay?'
"She isn't feeling well. She's hiding it. But she isn't."
"We'll drop Cass off on our way home tonight," Mary said.
She sat next to Dean.
"What do you think they'll decide?"
"I don't know honey. I don't know."
"Mrs. Winchester, Mr. Winchester, Mr. Novak," Mr. Adler said. The door had opened and the board members were streaming out and heading toward the exit.
Mary stood up and walked over to him. Jodi came over as well.
"Is Mr. and Mrs. Novak no longer here?" he asked.
"Rebekah needed to retire."
Mr. Adler nodded his head. "I understand."
Dean suddenly realized that in this moment Mr. Adler looked like a boss who had the untimely "privilege" of letting members of his team go.
"The parent guidance board has decided not to overturn policy. While your statements are very moving and we understand the emotional importance of this vote we have decided to maintain the precedent of our voting procedure."
"I cannot believe this. I cannot believe you Zachariah! This is my son. John's son."
"Mary I understand your anger. Please though, hear me out." Mary crossed her arms. "Our current standard is to vote on such matters at the first meeting before the start of the fall term. But because of this unusual circumstance the board will be revote on our policy in February. While that particular section wasn't up for review, it will have a greater chance of getting a revote then. Plus, it will bear more weight as both boys in question will be students of the high school."
"This is a low point for our school, you do understand that right, Mr. Adler," Principle Mills said. Dean had almost forgotten she was still there. He suddenly had a new sense of respect for his principle.
"I know, Principle Mills. I voted for your side. But there are some parents of kids who have come home with complaints in our group. Perhaps more time is just what is needed right now."
Mr. Alder turned to look at Dean and Cass.
"I want to apologize. You are still welcomed at the dance. The group rate while not ideal is still a way around this. And with a possible review in February the end of year dance events are not completely out."
"What if we want to dance together. Wouldn't we get kicked out?" Cass said.
"Your behavior at the dance would have to be tempered."
"That's just so wrong. Its not even worth it," Dean said.
Principle Mills started talking about February and planning and SGA on campus and other things that just faded past Dean's ears. He started walking away from the group. He looked over and saw that Cass had come with him.
"I really wanted to take you to the dance."
"There is always another time, Dean."
Dean leaned forward and kissed Cass softly. He didn't care that his mom was right there.
So yes, it had been the longest day of his life it felt like. So he savored this. He savors the way Cass' lips felt more chapped then normal. He savored pulling away from him and only seeing the blue of his eyes and feeling the softness of his hair as he totally ruined his attempted combed hairstyle. He relished in how calm Cass' breathing was when after he kissed him again Cass simply tucked his head partially under Dean's. It probably wasn't very comfortable for Cass but he didn't move. He heard his heart beat and he he supposed Cass could hear his too. It was so perfect it made Dean wonder how he'd ever existed before he'd gone on that rollercoaster.
So its definitely a good time to again note that I did not attend high school. So this whole PGB thing is totally made up. I think there is something like this in public schools (parents being involved and such), but who really knows. So I just ask to look beyond some situationally flawed story choices and just rather enjoy the big picture of this conflict. I know this chapter isn't the happiest of ones but I promise love and mush and many rainbows and butterflies are on their way.
Much love and thanks to all my readers and commenters,