Yes, I changed my name. Yes, it's still me.
Well, this is it. It's kinda short, so you could consider it an epilogue instead if you'd like. Tiny bit of swearing, nothing you wouldn't here on SPN. Enjoy!
June 12, 1996
"C'mon, Sammy, hurry up!" Dean yelled, rolling down his Chevy Impala's window even though it was raining rather hard outside. He was idling in front of the middle school Sam attended, waiting impatiently for him to finish talking to some brunette girl. Sam started when he heard Dean's voice, then shot him a face and kept talking to the girl. Dean groaned.
"Who he's talking to, anyway?" he grumbled.
"Probably Ruby," Castiel offered. He was sitting in the passenger seat much more patiently than Dean was, feet tucked up underneath him, drawing something in his sketchbook. He'd always enjoyed drawing, but when he was ten Mary had seen some real talent enrolled him in some art classes, which he adored. Now it was rare to see him without a sketchbook of some sort. "Sam told me he likes her."
"No way." Dean practically stuck his head the window, trying to get a glimpse of her. "I never heard anything about this."
"Yes, because he knew you'd tease him about it."
"And you wouldn't?" Dean asked, pulling his head back in.
"No. I'm the supportive one. Besides, I'm nicer than you," Cas stated matter-of-factly.
"Watch it, kid," Dean said, sitting back down and playfully shoving Cas with his shoulder before calling out the window yet again. "Sammy, leave your girlfriend be and get in the damn car!" When Sam finally approached the car, his face was red underneath his jacket hood.
"Ruby's not my girlfriend, Dean," he insisted, climbing into the backseat.
"Whatever you say. Took you long enough to get over here, we've got places to be, y'know."
"I know, I was just trying to finish my conversation!"
"How was school, Sam?" Cas interrupted, abruptly changing the subject and being the peacemaker, like usual.
"Good. We had a math test today," Sam said, switching his focus to Cas.
"Did you do well?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure, it was too easy. Whatcha drawing?" Sam leaned forward to get a glimpse of Cas' sketchbook. He always enjoyed seeing his brother's artwork. Cas held the book up for Sam to see.
"Oh, it's not much, I just started it in free period today," he said. The paper depicted what an angel viewed from the back wearing a long coat, with huge black wings that looked more like shadows than actual wings.
"That looks so cool!" Sam said excitedly. "I love your angels. I think this one's my favorite so far." The subjects of Cas' art lately had all been angels, each with different colored wings.
"Hmm, maybe." Cas eyed his work critically. "Perhaps I'll redo it another time and color it with oil pastels." Dean glanced over to see.
"Awesome," he decided. "What's with the detective jacket?"
"Thanks and it's called a trench coat," Cas informed him. Dean's face looked blank. Cas sighed exaggeratedly. "You know, you wouldn't just ask Van Gogh 'what's with the sunflowers'."
"Alright, Vincent," Dean chuckled. "Anyway, it looks great." Dean was immensely proud of Cas' art, just like he was proud of Sam's good grades. He always knew his brothers were going to turn out talented.
"Dean, where are you going? Home is the other way," Cas said suddenly, narrowing his eyes in confusion.
"Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. Today's the day before your birthday, so to celebrate your last ever day of being fourteen, we're going to Wendy's to each get a Frosty, and we'll share some fries." Cas' face split into a huge grin.
"Really? And Mom's okay with it?"
"Yeah, I told her this morning." Cas leaned back into his seat happily.
"You're amazing!" he declared.
"Yep, that is true," Dean agreed. He pulled the Impala into a parking spot at the Wendy's, and the three ran inside with their heads ducked to try to avoid the rain. Cas and Sam went to go pick a booth to sit down at while Dean ordered. Cas chose one next to a window, and automatically pulled out his sketchbook and began drawing the rain, without even thinking about it. Sam sat next to him and watched admiringly. Both he and Dean enjoyed Castiel's art, but Sam was very interested in the technique aspects like forced perspective and shadows. Cas was happy to talk about these things and more, and Sam always wanted to listen.
After not much time, Dean slid into the bench across from the two of them holding a plastic tray with three Frosties and large order of fries. Cas closed his book and looked at the food in anticipation. He was about to grab a fry but Dean stopped him.
"First, a toast," he said, smirking and holding up his Frosty. Sam cracked up and held his up as high well. Flushing a little bit, Cas finally followed suit. "Congratulations are in order, to Castiel Winchester, for surviving almost fifteen years of life, and, even more impressive, almost an entire freshman year of high school. Happy last day of fourteen, Cas." Cas laughed, red-faced, seeing some people from other tables looking over curiously at the three teenagers. Dean was intentionally making no effort to keep his voice down. What was the point of having little brothers if you couldn't embarrass them some times, right?
"Thank you, Dean," Cas mumbled, smiling, and clinking his paper cup to both his brothers'. "It means a lot to me."
"No problem," Dean said airily, taking a french fry and using it to scoop up some of his Frosty, then popping it in his mouth. Sam wrinkled his nose in distaste.
"No, really," Cas insisted. "Thank you. I mean-" He hesitated, trying to form his thoughts into words. "It's been what, seven years? Yeah, seven, the adoption was official around March or April of '89. And I don't think I say thank you enough for- for everything. For accepting me into your life."
"Cas, don't," Dean cut in, realizing what he was saying. "Don't thank me like this has all been some favor or charity or something, alright? Because it's not like that."
"I know it's not. It's just- never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined something as perfect as you, and Sam, and Mom happening to me. But by some twist of fate you did happen, and I'm incredibly lucky. And it's been so long, I don't even think when writing my name anymore, you know that? It's Castiel Winchester. That's who I am. I haven't been anyone else in a long, long time, all thanks to you. You saved my life, figuratively, and let's be honest, probably literally as well." Cas winced a little bit, remembering things he'd tried to block out, then continued hurriedly. "So, thank you. You've taught me what family really means. It's being with people you love, and who love you back, not just about who you're related to."
"God, Cas," Dean said, speechless, staring at him in awe. Even now the kid still impressed him with the way he could speak better than someone his age should have been able to. Not to mention how heartfelt his speech was. "I don't even know what to say to that, except that you should know I feel just as lucky that you fell into my life, too."
"Yeah," Sam piped up. "I agree. I barely remember living without you." Cas smiled one of those glowing smiles that once upon a time were so rare, but now appeared frequently.
"Thank you," he said again. Dean reached across the table and squeezed his hand, green eyes smiling warmly.
"Alright, drink your Frosty before it melts, not-birthday boy, we've gotta get home so you two can do your homework," he said, sitting back.
"You have homework to do too!" Sam pointed out. Dean rolled his eyes.
"Yeah well, we'll see if that actually gets done or not," he muttered. Sam gave him a look, prompting Dean to add, "Bitch."
"Cut it out, both of you," Cas interjected, amused.
"Yes, Mom," Dean teased, throwing a fry at Cas' head. Cas ducked and laughed, feeling absolutely, completely, perfectly happy.
~ Fin ~
Huge thanks to everyone who has stuck around for this long. I really, really hope you enjoyed reading! Also huge thanks to everyone who's reviewed, you make me so happy. I'm a little sad that I'm done with this story, but I'm excited to move on to other things. I've learned a lot writing this fic, so whatever I do next will be better :)
Speaking of which, next up on the table is a Destiel high school AU I've been planning for AGES (different 'verse, although who knows, I may come back here someday). I can't wait to start actually writing it down, because as of right now it's all just in my head.
Thanks again for all your support, I love you all 3 Bye, I'll see you soon :)