6 Years Later
Castiel stood beside his young student, who was holding his hand, bouncing up and down in her Mary Janes and crossing her chubby fingers. Her eyes were squeezed shut as she mumbled her silent prayer. Castiel gave her hand a little squeeze and reassured her, "You did amazing, sweetie. I am so proud of you, no matter what."
The little girl looked up at him and smiled. Castiel thought she looked so much like her mother, with her blonde curls and heart shaped face, but she had Sam's kind eyes. "Uncle Cas, what if we lose?"
"So we lose," Castiel said with a shrug. "Olivia, did you have fun?"
"Uh huh!" She nodded enthusiastically.
"Then you've already won. Look over there at your family. They are so proud of you no matter where you place." Castiel nodded over to the table in the audience where the rest of their family was sitting, beaming at the little dancer. Sam was holding Jess' hand and on his hip sat a little boy of two with floppy brown hair that nearly covered his big hazel eyes. Sam was trying his best to keep the rambunctious toddler quiet, but he was getting bored and Castiel could see that Robbie wasn't going to have patience much longer.
Bobby and Ellen were sitting next to them beaming like typical proud grandparents. Ellen had taken hundreds of pictures and Castiel smiled inward at the sight of Bobby in a suit. He knew that there must have been lots of grumbling and complaining to get him dressed up for the occasion.
Jo and her most recent beau were just returning from the bar with Charlie and her girlfriend, Gilda, carrying an extra drink to put in front of Dean. He smiled at the man, but Dean didn't see him. He wasn't looking at Castiel. His eyes were focused on the bundle in his arms; their daughter. The adoption had gone well and for the last few months that they had been parents, Dean couldn't take his eyes off the child. He was in love the moment that Faith was placed in his arms.
The announcer, however, did get his attention and he looked up when he heard, "The combined score for Olivia Winchester being instructed by Castiel Krushnic is… eight point nine."
Olivia screamed and jumped into Castiel's arms. It was enough for second place overall in her age group. Castiel hugged her back, this little girl who had taken to him and formed a special bond with her uncle from the time she was an infant. Practically as soon as she could walk she wanted to dance and Castiel was more than willing to teach her.
The Winchester table erupted, all of them jumping to their feet and cheering for Olivia. She ran over, dragging Castiel with her, to the waiting arms of her mother. Castiel gave Jess a kiss on the cheek then turned to Dean, who was beaming at him. He placed a hand on Faith's head and leaned over her to give Dean a heartfelt kiss.
Dean smiled back at Cas, "You did amazing with 'Liv. Man, that kid is crazy about you."
"The feeling is quite mutual. How has Faith been?" He said and leaned down to place his lips on the sleeping girl's forehead.
"An angel, like her father," Dean smiled at Cas. God, he loved that man. They'd been together six years now and he still got butterflies in his stomach when he looked at Cas. He had been stunning today on that dance floor. Dean had watched, enraptured, as Cas and Pamela had competed together, knocking dance pair after dance pair out of the competition. He was reminded of the first time he saw his partner dance. He knew that there was never any going back for him after he had watched that very first dance. He was in love.
Watching Cas command a dance floor, his body moving with perfect grace and rhythm with such strength and leadership did something to his insides and he couldn't wait to get his lover home so that he could enjoy feeling that body move with his own, Cas' hands and hips and tongue guiding him in their own lover's tango. But there was something he needed to do first.
Once the awards ceremony was over, the mood in the competition hall changed as the after-party reception began. Castiel sat at the table and looked around in satisfaction. Everyone he loved was here and he reflected upon how his life had changed. A few years ago, he didn't know that any of these people existed. Now, Dean and all of the people who orbited around him, had become his life.
Bobby and Ellen had accepted him as one of their own instantly, well almost instantly. Ellen had made sure to pull him aside the first family dinner that they attended and warn him that if he hurt Dean she would hunt him down and they wouldn't find the body. Bobby hadn't said anything but stood leaning against the doorway behind Ellen, arms crossed and giving Castiel a look that said he was completely in agreement with Ellen's warnings. After that, she pulled him into a warm hug and welcomed him into the family. Now, Ellen was twirling around on the dance floor with Jo's boyfriend and Bobby, the big softy, was cooing over Faith as the baby giggled while feeling the prickly texture of his beard.
Sam and Jess had treated him as family almost immediately and Castiel can still remember how touched he felt the first time Sam introduced Castiel as his brother-in-law. Sam and Castiel shared something important; they both loved Dean fiercely. And now they shared a special bond with Sam's daughter, who had both of them pretty much wrapped around her little finger. He smiled as he looked across the table to where Jess was sitting with Robbie falling asleep on her shoulder sucking his thumb. Sam was dancing with his daughter. Although she was pretty skilled for a six year old, she still preferred, when dancing with her daddy, to stand on Sam's feet.
Charlie and Gilda were swinging each other around on the dance floor. Jess' best friend had become a part of the family and it was Charlie who had introduced the Winchesters to what had become a favorite family tradition, the Moondoor LARP battle each summer.
Castiel thought about how different their lives had become. He and Dean had worked hard to build a life for themselves. When he had first met Dean, he was still grieving the loss of Balthazar. He wasn't really living but just surviving in a sort of animated state. Dean had swept in, inspired him to deal with his past and helped him claim back everything that was important to him. Dean had helped Castiel get his wings back and changed his life for the better in so many ways.
And Dean, when they had met, had been struggling with PTSD, wracked by nightmares and anxiety. Once he had opened up to Castiel about his experience, though, those both began to subside. Over time, Dean had shared more and more of his pain with Castiel, freeing him from the heavy burden of carrying it alone. The journey certainly hadn't been easy but Castiel had to smile at the thought of the change in Dean since then. The man he loved was now content, having come to terms with the pain of his past, from his father and unconventional upbringing to the horrors of war.
The roads they had both travelled in their lives had been difficult and broken, the journey painful and long. But that road had led them to each other and they had clung to that lifeline and blazed a new path for themselves. And their journey was far from over. They've had their share of difficult times, fought over everything from leaving the cap off the toothpaste to decisions about growing their family. But Castiel knew that he wouldn't trade a moment of his life with Dean for anything.
Castiel had continued to fly a few times a month, testing aircraft and reveling in the elation of floating above the earth. He had even gotten Dean up in the air once or twice, but usually Dean preferred to spend those days working around the house – their house. About a year ago, they had rented out Castiel's apartment to Pamela and purchased a little red brick three-bedroom bungalow that had needed just enough work that they could transform it, room by room, making the house their home. The first thing that Dean had insisted upon was to lay hardwood in the finished basement so that Castiel had a place to dance. They had made love on that floor the first day it was installed, slow and sweet, exhausted and sweaty from the hard work but too happy to care.
More recently they had been working on preparing their home to welcome Faith. The little girl had been such a gift. He smiled just thinking about how in love with her Dean was. Castiel's favorite thing had become standing in the doorway of the nursery, listening to Dean sing her to sleep. Hey Jude was always a favorite because that's what his mother had sung to him.
As he thought about Dean, he looked around and wondered where the man had wondered off to. He had handed to Faith to Bobby a few minutes ago and disappeared. Castiel hoped he was at the bar getting drinks. He was ready for a refill. Then he heard a familiar voice come over the loud speakers.
"Um, can I have your attention? My name is Dean Winchester and I am here today to support my niece, Liv and my partner, Cas. And, uh, thanks to the band here for letting me borrow the mic for what I want to say next."
Castiel sat stunned, wondering what on earth Dean was up to. Dean shifted nervously on the stage with all eyes in the ballroom focused on him.
"OK, so, Cas, I wanted to say that you are the most amazing person I have ever met. And, I know this is a little backwards because our daughter is sitting over there on her grandpa's lap, but it's never too late, right? Castiel, you saved me in every possible way… and I love you and… oh hell, will you marry me?" Dean pulled a solid band out of his pocket and jumped off the stage, holding it out as he approached Castiel, who hadn't moved from the spot.
Castiel stood up and walked to Dean, meeting him in the middle of the dance floor. "Of course I will marry you, Dean. And for the record, we saved each other."
Dean slid the band onto his fiancé's finger and leaned forward to kiss him as the crowd erupted into applause. The band began to play All of My Love and Dean whispered low into Castiel's ear, "They're playing our song, angel. Dance with me?" He snaked his arms around Cas' waist as the two began to sway until their bodies moved as one, both eager to continue their journey down the unpredictable road of life together.
I think about the years I spent, just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost, and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there, you understand
Its all part of a grander plan that is coming true
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.
~Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts