Author's note: Epilogue time. There's a lot of time jumping here, hopefully it won't be too hard to keep up. Sorry if it is. Basically just fluff 5000% of the way.
Here's a fun tidbit: tomorrow this story will be turning one year old. Wow. That's actually quite convenient in the view of things having a cyclical structure, and all that. Purely unintentional on my part, I'll admit. But convenient. (Also if my calculations are correct that also means that I've been updating this story about once every week and a half. I don't know if that's a particularly good or bad rate. I'll leave you all to decide.)
And, um, wow. Thank you for all the support you've shown this story. I honestly had no idea I'd keep it going for so long - I wasn't even sure if I'd make it any longer than the first chapter. Looking back, no matter how shitty my writing was to begin with, and how awkward a human being I was, I'm glad I did write more. This whole thing has actually hugely developed my writing skills, and I know you're all probably vomiting with just how disgustingly sentimental and corny all that was, but there it is. Thank you all so much. For following, favouriting, reviewing, all of it meant a lot to me.
ninar77: I'm so glad you liked the last chapter. I really tried to round things off in a cute but not disgustingly sappy way. I hope I did it. Thank you so much for your seriously kind words throughout these past chapters, you've been so awesome. Awh. I'm so impossibly lucky to have reviewers like you.
mailaine: Thank you so much, sweetie! I hope you like it!
therednecklace: Ohh, you're too lovely. Thank you so much, for all your sweet reviews in the past, all your encouragement, etc etc etc. You're awesome. Bless you.
NightWing101: That's so sweet, thank you so much! This review was so lovely, I grinned like a proper idiot when I first read it. I'm so glad you've enjoyed it - it's people like you that make the time and effort more than totally worth it, so thank you very very much, all that you said meant an awful lot.
Disclaimer: I do not own supernatural or any of the characters in it. I also do not own the song this fic is named after, or any of the characters in it.
Gentle fingers carded absently through Dean's hair. They filled Dean with that feeling of at ease, of belonging. It was one he had grown gorgeously accustomed to, over the past few years. He smiled distractedly and closed his eyes at the familiar touch, squeezing the cup of coffee in his right hand as a warm kiss was pressed onto his left cheek and Castiel pulled up a chair next to him.
Dean blinked tiredly, yawning; the stretch of the smile from Cas' touch still etched lightly across his features.
"Good morning," Dean hummed, reaching his hand up to brush the backs of his knuckles softly against Cas' cheek. The dark haired man's lips twitched upwards at the affectionate contact as he glanced down and pulled out a pen with which he scribbled something down onto a pad of paper. Cas had been doing this a lot, lately. "You're up early." Dean observed tiredly. Castiel's lips twitched upwards again, and he let out a quiet breath of laughter.
"I am." He nodded.
"Why?" Dean frowned. "You don't have to go to work for ages."
Castiel laughed again and reached across the table, tangling his fingers gently with Dean's; resting the flat of their palms together.
"I could say the same, for you." He reminded. "It's Gabriel's thirty-fifth birthday." He explained, amusement rumbling at his already gravelly voice.
Dean blinked again.
"Five years since we met." Castiel laughed, squeezing Dean's hand.
It definitely didn't feel like five years, to Dean.
"And, aside from the fact that he told me I'd have to call him to wish him a happy birthday, I thought I should catch you before you get caught up in all your paperwork for the garage—and before I have to leave for work—to ask you how you wanted to celebrate, tonight."
"Celebrate?" Dean repeated, looking up at Cas. A questioning frown etched itself across his features.
"Yes, celebrate, Dean." Castiel shook his head, still smiling. "Tonight. It's five years since we met." He repeated. "Would you like to celebrate? And if so, how?"
"Yeah—" Dean nodded, quickly. "But we'd have to get a sitter—"
"—Sam's already said he can, if we want to go out."
"What did you have in mind?" He asked, stifling another yawn behind his hand.
"Maybe nothing," Castiel laughed. "It looks like you need sleep more than anything else."
"Sleep isn't an option." Dean smiled, his eyes crinkling at their corners as he regarded Castiel. "We're gonna do something special."
"Then can I at least get you another cup of coffee?" Cas asked, raising his eyebrows at Dean.
"Yeah," Dean nodded, blinking blearily, again. "That'd be awesome, thanks, Cas."
"Why are you up so early, anyway?" Cas asked, taking Dean's cup from him and making his way over to the kitchen counter, to make Dean his coffee.
"Mary woke up—"
"At four, Dean," Castiel reminded. "And you've stayed up, since then? Have you really been awake this whole time?"
"Pretty much." Dean shrugged. He glanced over to Cas and saw his vastly un-amused expression, and winced. "What?" He asked, frowning defensively. "I've gotta run the garage from home, and if I can't get back to sleep, I might as well get some work done."
"You're going to work yourself to death." Cas sighed, handing Dean his refilled coffee. Dean thanked him and took it gratefully.
"That's bullshit." Dean frowned. "You're in more danger of doing that, than I am."
"Yes, but I'm doing what I love." Cas reminded.
"So am I." Dean laughed.
"Right." Cas rolled his eyes. The pen and notepad were pulled out, again.
"I love cars." Dean stated.
"I love you, too."
"That's reassuring." Castiel supressed a smile.
"And, when I get home, I get to do you, as well." Dean grinned. "If you get what I mean." He winked, almost conspiratorially. Castiel rolled his eyes and elbowed Dean softly. "What are you writing, anyway?" Dean asked, glancing down to the pad.
"It's not important." Castiel shrugged, continuing to scribble.
"You're not doing some creepy shrink shit on me, are you?" Dean asked, smirking at Cas as he pulled another un-amused face at Dean.
"I'm a writer, Dean, not a psychologist." He reminded.
"So, it's to do with your writing?"
"It's ideas for my next story." Cas explained, at last. "I left the last one on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I'm sort of meant to pick up where I left the last one, and finish it off."
"Right." Dean nodded, sleepily.
"Can you do me a favour, today, Dean?" Cas asked, looking up at Dean again and brushing his fingertips against the back of Dean's hand. Dean glanced down to where their bodies were making contact and smiled, contentedly.
"Yeah," He nodded, meeting Castiel's gaze, again. "What?"
"Get some sleep today." Cas' hand wrapped around Dean's, now, and squeezed, gently. "I know you're looking after Mary, and filling out paperwork for the garage, but try and get some rest. Please."
"Alright, Cas." Dean nodded. Castiel gave him a quietly grateful look. "It's cute that you care so much, you know."
"You're my husband." Cas laughed, shaking his head and standing up.
"Yes, I am." Dean beamed, pulling Castiel down for a moment to kiss him, softly. Cas smiled and carded his fingers through Dean's hair, again. Dean grinned and tilted his head back at the touch. "Kids are so much effort." Dean laughed, yawning again.
"You're the one who wanted a baby." Castiel reminded, cupping the side of Dean's face and brushing his thumb across Dean's cheek.
"You did, too." Dean chuckled. Cas let out a soft breath of amusement.
"I suppose." He conceded.
"It'll be our wedding anniversary, soon." Dean smiled absently, before frowning when Cas' hand was removed from the side of his face.
"It will be." Cas nodded, bending down to press one last kiss onto the top of Dean's head, before making his way back over to the counter and beginning to make himself some breakfast. "I'm glad you haven't forgotten."
"I'd never forget." Dean laughed. Cas smiled warmly over to him from where he stood.
"Five years." Dean hummed, his lips twitching upwards. "Five years since we first met. It doesn't feel like it, does it?"
"No," Castiel admitted, shaking his head. "I suppose it doesn't."
"Five years since I fell in love with you." Dean grinned up at Cas.
"You didn't fall in love with me on the first night, Dean." Cas rolled his eyes. "Don't be ridiculous."
"I did, too." Dean laughed. "Just 'cause I came to love you more, since then, doesn't mean I didn't love you then."
"Bullshit." Cas shook his head, chuckling.
"Nope." Dean grinned. "Of course, I love you infinitely more, now."
"I love you, too."
"I think I get to love you more and more, every day." Dean's smile softened, as he walked behind Cas and rested his chin on Cas' shoulder.
"That must be exhausting." Castiel hummed, as Dean's hands wound their way around his body. Dean closed his eyes.
"Very." He nodded. Cas chuckled gently. "Which explains why I've been feeling so sleepy, lately."
"I'm sorry about that." Castiel's voice became even warmer, more amused. "It sounds like it's all my fault."
"I wouldn't have it any other way." Dean beamed, turning Cas around to brush his nose gently against the other man's.
"Piss off." Castiel laughed, biting down on his smile. Dean brushed his lips against Cas'.
"You should take it as a compliment that I'm still so obsessed with you." Dean grinned.
"I suppose I should." Cas' lips twitched into a gentler smile. The sound of Mary waking up and crying rung from upstairs. Dean pressed his forehead against Cas' and groaned.
"You wanted a kid." Cas reminded. Dean bumped his nose against Castiel's.
"I did." He admitted, pulling himself away from his husband and making his way out of the kitchen and up the stairs of their home.
Dean grimaced at the sound of the baby's tears, and picked her up from her crib.
"Crap." Dean muttered, resting the baby on his hip and pulling a new diaper out of the bag. "You stink, baby girl." He laughed, brushing his nose against his daughter's head and bouncing her softly, attempting to quieten her. "So bad."
He placed her gently down, on her back, again, and began changing her, glancing up to see Cas appear in the doorway.
"What time do you have to be in work, today?" Dean asked, attempting to maintain eye contact with Castiel whilst changing their baby's diaper—which was frustratingly difficult. Eventually, he had to give up.
"Not for a while." Castiel admitted, his voice warm and quiet. "I've got some time to kill."
Dean nodded, attempting to put the new diaper on his daughter; which really wasn't an easy task.
"I'll pay you money if you sit still." He groaned at Mary, who didn't stop squirming. He heard Cas huff a laugh from behind him.
"Hey, you could give me a hand, instead of mocking me." Dean reminded, frowning over at Cas.
"It looks like you've got it just about covered." Castiel laughed, shaking his head affectionately at Dean. Dean scowled as Mary started crying, again.
"Okay, alright, alright—" Dean groaned, bouncing her softly, again. He pressed a kiss onto the top of their daughter's head, smiling as his nose brushed against her soft skin, and began to hum, gently.
"Are you singing Smoke on the Water?" Cas asked, frowning at Dean.
Dean grinned and shrugged as Mary's cries quietened, again.
"It worked." Cas observed, frowning.
"I know." Dean laughed. "Man, our daughter's gonna have an awesome taste in music."
Castiel laughed gently.
"I suppose she will." He nodded. Dean placed the baby back in her crib, and, straightening up, felt Cas press a kiss onto the base of his neck. "You're a great father." He hummed. Dean felt himself beam, warmth swelling through his heart.
"Thanks," He laughed. "You too, I guess."
"I'd like to think that I'm getting better." Castiel chuckled against Dean's skin.
"You had no idea, to begin with." Dean grinned, brushing the back of his finger against their baby's forehead.
"I was new to all of it." Cas shrugged. "You'd raised your brother, but I was the youngest of all my family. I'd never really encountered babies, before."
"True." Dean admitted. He wrapped his arm around Cas' shoulder. "Do you think you'd ever want another one?" He asked, looking up at the dark haired man.
"Kid, I mean."
"You'd want one?"
"Yeah, of course." Dean nodded. "And what about you?"
"When Mary's a bit older, Dean." Castiel's lips twitched upwards. "We've got enough on our plate, as it is."
"Alright." Dean conceded. "But you'd like another?" He asked.
"Yes, with you, Dean." Castiel beamed.
"How many more, do you think?"
"How many children did you have in mind?" Castiel asked, laughing.
"I don't know." Dean shrugged. "A few."
"And you still want a dog?"
"Our lives would be so busy." Castiel laughed.
"Yeah, but we'd have each other." Dean grinned. "So everything would still be perfect."
Dean and Cas had adopted Mary around two years after the wedding. Roughly. They had sort of meant to have kids, sooner—well, had definitely wanted to have kids sooner—but married life had been a flurry of health insurance and joint bank accounts and cups of coffee and short morning kisses; and, Castiel supposed, time had sort of got away from them.
In all their years, together, Dean never stopped curling up beside Castiel at night, twisting his arms around Cas' body from under the covers. He never stopped pressing kisses to the side of Cas' face or humming confessions of love onto his neck. Dean didn't stop beaming whenever Cas came home or asking if they could shower together with a playful grin on his face. He didn't stop blushing, or, indeed, making Castiel blush with corny or sappy—or both—one-liners.
Castiel had never really encountered children, before. He had been the youngest child of four. His family didn't have any other relatives. Mary had honestly been his first experience with an infant, and he'd had no idea of how to deal with her, to begin with.
Dean had proven to be born for parenthood, though. He sang Mary lullabies on his guitar and bounced her on his knee until her crying subsided all but completely, and she moved to bury her head into the comfort of his shoulder. It seemed to Castiel that Dean could tell exactly what was wrong, and why, whenever Mary's tears started up again. It had taken Cas a little longer to figure all that out.
On one of the first days after bringing Mary back to their home, she had started crying, and Castiel had been without Dean to help him deal with her. It wasn't an ideal situation, truth be told. As soon as he heard the first wail bubble up from her throat, something like despair had settled thickly in his stomach.
"Um—" He bit his lip, unsure, approaching his daughter. "—Please—please, don't."
Apparently pleas didn't register with infants, because Mary's tears continued, regardless. If anything, in fact, they only grew louder. If that were possible.
"Um—" He said, again, worrying his lip. He picked Mary up as gently as he could and settled her in his arms. He was still a little awkward at holding her. Shit, what had he seen Dean do in these situations? Everything was so much simpler when Dean was in the room to guide Castiel gently over what he should see to. "—How about a lullaby?" He bounced Mary softly as her crying simply increased in volume.
Cas wasn't a brilliant singer. He didn't think his voice could even qualify as mediocre, but Mary's crying subsided slightly as he started, continuing to bounce her gently in his arms as he sang; and after a moment her tears had ceased all but completely. He sighed a breath of relief.
"Believe it or not, it's just me." He finished, quietly, placing Mary back down into her crib. Her crying started up, immediately. Castiel bit the inside of his mouth and picked her up again. Babies were hard.
Cas had always sort of suspected that Dean had always wanted a daughter. Sometimes, when he looked at Dean, holding Mary and beaming down at her, or feeding her from a bottle with a look of warm contentment on his face, he believed it more than ever.
"You were born for this." Castiel laughed, settling down on his knees, beside Mary's crib, of which Dean was knelt over, grinning as Mary played with his finger, her tiny hand wrapped around the width of it.
Dean beamed and shrugged, glancing up at Cas.
"I don't know." He replied. "I just like kids."
"You're better than me at all of it."
"That's 'cause I had Sammy to practice with. You were the youngest child." Dean shrugged again, turning back to Mary, his smile turning softer, again.
"I suppose." Castiel hummed, his lips twitching upwards into a warm smile as he watched Dean interact with their daughter.
"Kids get me, more than adults do, I think." Dean continued, distantly, still looking down at Mary. "That sounds a little odd." He laughed.
"Not really. And I get you." Cas replied.
"You're a pretty awesome exception, though, Cas." Dean grinned, looking up at the darker haired man, again. Castiel laughed and shook his head as Dean's gaze settled back on Mary. "We have a daughter." He said, softly, after a long moment's quiet. His voice came up choked and hoarse, and Castiel's heart softened at the sound.
"We do." Castiel agreed, gently.
"I'm a father." Dean's voice didn't come out any firmer, and instead remained just as quiet as before. Something had settled in his eyes as he gazed adoringly at Mary.
"You are." Castiel nodded. He looked down for a moment, warmth swelling in his heart, before slipping his hand tenderly into Dean's free one. Dean glanced down at it, a moment. "And a good one."
"You think so?" Dean asked, looking up at Castiel. His expression seemed hungry for reassurance. Castiel squeezed his hand, once, a soft affirmation.
"The very best." He replied, his eyes crinkling at their corners. Dean's cheeks tinted with a delicate red.
"I don't know," Dean replied, grinning bashfully. "You're a pretty awesome father, too."
Castiel laughed and leant closer to Dean, their shoulders pressed together, as Mary continued tugging at Dean's finger.
"I don't know why that means so much," Dean mumbled softly, gazing down at their daughter. "But it really does."
"Well, I really mean it." Castiel replied. He stroked Dean's hand, gently, feeling Dean's body relax against him, loosening slowly to Castiel's touch.
"I always wanted a daughter." Dean said, quietly. Cas looked back up at Dean's face, at the way his eyes crinkled at their corners as he gazed at their baby girl.
"I think I'd realised." Castiel replied, honestly.
"I always wanted a daughter, with you." Dean amended, looking up at Castiel again, his expression settling into a beam. Dean's hand came up to brush against Castiel's cheek, softly, and he leant forward and brushed his lips softly against Castiel's. He pulled back, still beaming. "Always."
"I don't think I've ever been this happy before." Dean had mumbled against Cas' neck, the first night they had brought Mary home.
"I don't think I've ever seen you this happy." Castiel laughed.
"Which is saying something." Dean hummed, happily. Castiel made a questioning noise at the back of his throat. Dean continued. "Considering how happy you make me."
"Oh." He chuckled, gently.
"You make me really happy." Dean beamed.
"Not as happy as a baby makes you?"
"It's that I have you, and a kid with you, that makes me so happy, Cas." Dean laughed. Castiel rolled his eyes.
"You're appallingly sappy."
Dean grinned and pressed a kiss onto the underside of his husband's jaw. It had seemed like he was going to say something, then, but a cry emanating from Mary's room interrupted him, if that were the case.
"I'll get it." Dean sighed, stretching himself out as he sat up on their bed, tiredly.
"Thank you." Castiel hummed. He was still pretty unsure of what to do when Mary cried—and how to tell what it was she needed—and so, without Dean's assistance and advice, Cas felt horribly uncertain of how to deal with a sobbing infant in these situations.
"I guess this is going to be our life, for the next year or so." Dean mumbled, pressing the heel of his palm into his eyes and rubbing, to wake himself up, slightly.
"Year or so?" Castiel repeated, finding himself laughing incredulously. "It'll be a little bit longer than that, Dean."
"What makes you say that?" Dean raised his eyebrows.
"Now, it'll just be changing and feeding a baby. But soon enough it'll be checking for monsters underneath the bed and in her closet; and glasses of water in the middle of the night and letting her sleep in our bed when she has nightmares. And that's just the start—soon we'll be having to drive her to after school clubs and to friends' houses; helping out with homework and hugging her after bad days at school—"
"Oh, fuck." Dean groaned. Castiel laughed as he exited, leaving for Mary's room and picking her up, through to their own bedroom. "What if she gets a boyfriend?" He asked, frowning worriedly. "What will I do if she does that? Guys can be really scummy, Cas—"
"I'm a guy." Castiel pointed out from where he lay, still on his and Dean's bed.
"Well, yeah," Dean replied, bouncing her on his hip. "But you're one of the non-scummy dudes out there."
"You're a guy."
"Exactly." Dean groaned. "What if she starts dating—I don't know, some guy who's exactly like what I was like, during high school? What then?"
"Surely you weren't that bad."
"Believe me, Cas, I was fucking awful." Dean groaned. He hoisted Mary up a little and patted at her back, attempting to burp her.
"She might not date guys." The darker haired man shrugged from where he lay, stifling a yawn into his fist.
"That's true." Dean nodded. "She might like girls." He laughed.
"And she might like no-one."
"I'd feel a lot better knowing that was the case."
"You're going to be one of those horribly protective father's, aren't you?" Castiel raised his eyebrows at Dean, who grinned and shrugged.
"I'll try not to be." He laughed. "But it's in my nature to be protective of the people I love. You know that."
"Were you protective over Sam?"
"Ridiculously so." Dean chuckled. Mary had settled her head on his shoulder, and Dean squeezed her tiny body gently. "And now that I've got a daughter, of course I'm gonna want to look after her."
"You seem very at ease around infants." Castiel yawned again.
"Yeah, I think fatherhood is gonna treat me well." Dean grinned. "Alright, little girl, I think it's time that I returned you to your room." He pressed a kiss on Mary's smooth head and, opening the door further with his foot, exited back onto the corridor and into Mary's room. Castiel sighed and settled himself a little deeper into the sheets.
"You're so cute with her." Cas laughed when Dean returned and pressed himself against his husband's body, again.
"Thanks." Dean chuckled, breathing out against Castiel's neck.
"You're such a hot dad." Castiel laughed again. Dean snorted in response. "No, seriously, Dean." Castiel continued. "You're so hot when you're being all gentle and loving with her. It's seriously attractive."
"And you're so hot when you're being awkward and dorky with her." Dean chuckled. Castiel rolled his eyes.
"Do you think she's going to pick up your musical talent?" He asked, quietly, sleepiness settling over both his body and mind, again.
"I think a more important question is whether she's going to pick up your aptitude for writing." Dean grinned. "We could have a family of authors."
"Or a family of musicians."
"Not with your singing voice, Cas." Dean joked, playfully. Castiel decided not to rise to it.
"What about mechanics? Maybe she'll love cars as much as you do?"
"Yeah," Dean beamed. "That'd be pretty cool, not gonna lie. I could teach her all about them in the garage."
"You could." Cas' eyes crinkled at their corners. "Although maybe we're projecting a little too much. Maybe we should just wait and see what kind of person she'll grow up to be."
"Yeah, I guess." Dean nodded gently. "Still, I hope she appreciates my music taste."
"I'm sure she will." Castiel shook his head, laughing quietly. There was a brief, contented pause. "I bet you'd be the embarrassing kind of dad." He found himself chuckling after a moment. "Deliberately so, in fact."
"I probably will be." Dean laughed, too. "But you'll totally be the unintentional kind of embarrassing, I bet."
"Probably." Cas nodded.
"Maybe Mary will be as adorably socially inept as you."
"Maybe. Maybe she'll have this teeth-grindingly confident exterior, and then turn out to be a huge softie, inside. Just like you."
"That's also a possibility." Dean laughed. "Well, whatever she turns out to be, I bet she'll be awesome. And I'm glad we were able to have her. I'm glad I was able to have a kid, with you."
"Me too, Dean." Castiel replied, sleepily.
"Maybe we should get some sleep." Dean mumbled, pressing a kiss onto Cas' neck. "We'll need it, with Mary here, after all."
"That's very true." Cas replied. His mind felt heavy and contented. His limbs felt as though they were being swallowed up by the mattress beneath his body. Dean's breath tickled his neck, softly, and his eyes slid slowly closed.
"Hey, Cas?" Dean asked, gently, breaking the quiet. Castiel didn't open his eyes.
"Yes, Dean?" He replied, drowsily.
"Thanks for letting me name her after my mom. It means a lot."
"I know, Dean." The dark haired man replied, honestly. "That's why I did."
Dean sighed happily and pressed another kiss onto Cas' skin.
"I means a lot." Dean repeated, tiredly. Castiel was asleep before he could think to reply.
"So, your new book is gonna be a sequel to the one you've already got published?" Dean asked, over his and Cas' dinner. They were in some fancy restaurant that wasn't nearly as pretentious as Dean had expected it to be; but was still pretty posh, with that said. Dean would've been comfortable going to a small diner on the edge of town, but apparently that wasn't an option for so important a day.
"Yes," Cas nodded. "I suppose. Next in the series, maybe." His fingers found Dean's, softly. Dean beamed at the touch. "The publishers were sort of expecting me to come up with another book to follow it up with, because of how the last one ended. It's taken a while, though, I'll admit." He laughed sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck.
"I bet it's gonna be awesome." Dean grinned, squeezing his husband's hand.
Cas' face reddened furiously.
"Well, we can only hope." He shrugged, biting his lip. "It's all still a bit surreal, to be honest." He admitted, ears growing pink. Dean's grin turned into an affectionate beam.
"What, you getting your dream of being a writer?"
"Yes." Cas nodded. "Still."
"I'm so glad you're so happy, Cas." Dean beamed. Another hand-squeeze.
"To be honest, the writing has just been an added bonus. Having you and Mary, that's what's made me really happy."
Dean grinned bashfully.
"I love you." He laughed, a blush creeping across his cheeks. His husband's eyes crinkled at their corners at the sight.
"I love you too, Dean."
"How do you think Sam's getting' along?" Dean asked.
"With Mary? I don't know. Hopefully good."
"Seeing as Jess is expecting." Dean grinned.
"They'll make great parents."
"Yeah, but not as good as us."
"I don't think it's a competition?" Castiel raised his eyebrows at Dean, who laughed and shrugged.
"Okay, okay. You don't have to compete."
"You're not going to compete, either, Dean. You already drive your poor brother up the wall, as it is."
"You're no fun at all."
"It's been said." Cas shrugged indifferently.
"And what do you mean about me driving him up the wall?" Dean laughed.
"Do you remember your speech at his wedding?"
"Do you remember his speech at our wedding?" Dean returned.
"Fine," Cas sighed. "But you're still not going to try to compete with him over parenthood."
"That's fine. I'll find something else to compete over."
Castiel rolled his eyes. Dean grinned.
"How's everything at the garage going?"
"Fine, as far as I can tell." Dean shrugged. "I haven't been able to go down there very much, lately, but from what everyone's been telling me, it's going good."
"And what about all the paperwork for it?"
"That's boring as heck." Dean admitted, laughing. "But doing it from home means I get to spend time with Mary—and it means that we don't have to hire out a nanny, just yet."
"Children are expensive." Castiel laughed.
"It would've been even more expensive if we'd got a surrogate." Dean reminded.
"Yes, that's true."
"And we're not fucking rich, after all."
"I know." Cas chuckled. Dean's foot brushed against his, underneath the table.
"Maybe if they make some movies out of your books." Dean grinned.
"I very much doubt they'd do that, Dean."
"It's a good thing I have so much faith in you and your writing ability, then."
The darker haired man rolled his eyes, his ears growing pink.
"You're lucky I love you so much, Dean."
"Why's that?" Dean laughed.
"You're such an idiot."
"That's just more code for 'I love you'." Dean teased.
"Maybe." Castiel laughed, shaking his head. "Both of them are true, anyway."
"I knew it." Dean grinned.
"We should get a dog, now." Dean mumbled against Castiel's neck, one night.
"What?" The dark haired man groaned, rolling over to face Dean.
"We should get a dog." Dean repeated, his lips twitching upwards into a sleepy grin.
"'Cause Mary's not so small, now, and it'd be cute for her to have a dog to play with." He explained.
"You're ridiculous, Dean." Cas grumbled. "You woke me up for that?"
"Yeah," Dean laughed. "We should totally get a dog."
"I thought you wanted another kid, next."
"Both. Both would be awesome."
"Fucking hell." Cas rolled over again. Dean grinned and placed a kiss onto the underside of his husband's jaw.
"Think about it? Please?"
"We already have Taz—"
"But she's a cat." Dean protested. "Not a dog."
"I thought you loved her." Cas frowned.
"Yeah, but I want a dog to love, too." Dean laughed.
"Fine." His husband sighed, sleepily. "We can get a dog."
"And another kid?"
"There's a difference between children and pets, Dean."
"I know," Dean protested, "I'm just saying I want to have another kid, too. With you."
"Fine. We can talk about it in the morning."
"We're pretty financially stable—in fact, really financially—"
"In the morning, Dean." Cas groaned again.
"Sorry, baby." Dean laughed. "We can talk, then."
Cas rolled over to face Dean, again.
"You really love all of this, don't you?"
"I thought you wanted to go to sleep, Cas." Dean chuckled.
"Sorry," Dean snorted. "What do you mean?" He asked.
"Domesticity," Castiel explained. "You really love it. And everything it involves."
"Like fatherhood?" Dean asked. He was unsure why, but his voice cracked as he spoke this, in particular.
"Yes," Cas nodded. "You really love it."
"I do." Dean confirmed, nodding gently. "I think I always wanted it." Cas squeezed Dean's body closer to his own as Dean spoke. "And maybe I felt like I didn't always deserve it."
"You deserve it, Dean." Cas mumbled.
Dean's lips twitched upwards.
"You make me so happy." Dean whispered.
"You say that a lot." Cas laughed.
"That's 'cause it's true." Dean beamed.
"Wedding anniversary, soon." Cas mumbled.
"Yeah," Dean agreed. "Really soon."
"We should do something special."
"Yeah." Dean nodded. "I'd like that."
"I'm glad you're happy, Dean." Cas mumbled, tiredly. Dean squeezed his husband's body.
"And you're happy, too?" He asked.
"I never thought I'd be able to be this happy."
"It's hard to think about my life before you came into it."
"Seems like a long time ago, huh?" Dean laughed.
"Over five years."
"The time I've been with you has been the happiest of my life, Cas." Dean beamed.
Castiel squeezed Dean's body against his own, again.
"What's your favourite memory?" He asked, sleepily.
"That's a bit of a weird question." Dean chuckled.
"Just answer it."
Dean's smile turned warm. He mused for a quiet moment.
"Bobby teaching me baseball." Dean smiled. "That's a good one. I have memories of my mom and dad being happy, together, before she died, and he—regressed. I remember one time they were both sat on my bed, telling me the story of how they met." Dean reminisced. "That's a nice one. And setting off fireworks with Sammy, when he was just a kid. I miss those days." There was a pause, for a moment. "But all my memories with you, too. Like, me proposing to you. First meeting you. Me winning you back. Us getting married. How you looked when you first held Mary. How you looked when she started crying." Dean laughed, and Castiel did the same, rolling his eyes.
"Everything." Dean shrugged again. "Everything I've been given, with you."
He felt Cas' fingers wind softly into his hair.
"What about you?" Dean asked.
"My favourite memory?" Cas hummed.
"I'm not sure. Probably everything that you said, too. Maybe finding out I was going to get published, as well."
"That was a good one." Dean grinned.
"It was." Cas agreed, softly. "Holding the book for the first time, knowing I'd got everything I'd ever dreamed of. That was a good one. And watching you read the cover page." He beamed. Dean did the same.
"You're so perfect." He laughed.
"Perfectly imperfect." Dean corrected himself. Cas huffed out a soft breath of laughter.
"You, too." He returned. "You're perfectly imperfect, too."
"Do you think she'd be proud of me, Cas?" Dean asked, breaking the quiet. Cas frowned up at Dean, confused. "My mom." Dean explained, biting his lip. He closed his eyes again as he felt his husband press a tender kiss onto his bare skin.
"I think she's always been proud of you, Dean." He mumbled gently. "And now, more than ever. And she'd be so happy to see you this happy."
Dean squeezed Cas' body tight against his own.
"She'd think I'm a good father?"
"I bet she thinks you're the best father, out there." Castiel said, softly. His lips brushed against Dean's flesh, again. Dean unravelled at the touch.
"You too." Dean said, quietly. He felt Castiel snort a soft breath of laughter. "You mean that?" He asked, after a short pause.
"She'd be so proud of you, Dean." Castiel murmured. "In fact, I'm sure she already is."
Castiel beamed down at the hardback cover of his book. Published. Official. He glanced back up at Dean, who's eyes were crinkling at their corners, a smile filled with a tidal wave of warmth set on his face.
"You're finally published." Dean beamed.
"Yeah," Cas nodded. "I'm a real writer, now. I can't believe it." He admitted, huffing out a hollow, elated breath of laughter.
"Well, you are." Dean grinned. "How does it feel?" He asked, winding his arms around his new husband's waist.
"Amazing." Cas admitted. "Not real."
Dean pressed a kiss onto the side of Castiel's face.
"Happy?" He asked.
He and Dean had been married for only a few months. They had returned from their honeymoon only recently; and had softly settled back into the swing of work and bills and domesticity. Life at home, with Dean, was sort of perfect. More than sort of. It seemed so strange that there had once been a time when Cas hadn't even known Dean. It seemed so strange that he hadn't even realised the person he was missing out on.
He looked back up at Dean, now, from where he had been staring, at the back of his hardcover book. He ran his fingers over its spine. He pressed his palm onto its back. It felt terrifyingly and beautifully weighted in his hands. Like the book itself knew what it meant to him, the importance of what it contained.
He held it out to Dean.
"Open it." He beamed.
"What?" Dean frowned. Cas felt a bubble of laughter rise up from his chest.
"Open it." He repeated.
"Don't you want me to—"
"Just do it." Cas laughed. His eyes crinkled at their corners. "Look at the first page. Go on."
Dean did so, looking down at the book. He flipped the cover, to the dedications page. He looked back up at Castiel. Shocked.
Castiel laughed again. Disbelief shrouded Dean's features, before another emotion—joy—settled over them.
"Cas," He repeated again. He wrapped his arms around Cas' body. "You—" Dean seemed a little lost for words. He pulled back and stared at the dedications page, again. "I—"
Dean was perfectly ineloquent.
Dean swallowed hard. Something like tears shrouded over his eyes.
He looked back up at Cas, again. Beamed.
"I love you." He said, and Castiel laughed—because at moments like this, he knew it was all Dean could think of to say. Dean pressed a kiss onto his husbands lips. "I love you." He repeated, again.
He looked back down at the page. Castiel beamed.
(Without whom, this book could never have been written, let alone published.)
For coming back to me.
"We're not naming our dog Yoda." Cas frowned.
"What? Why the fuck not?"
"Because that's a ridiculous fucking name for an animal—why am I even explaining this—you know why, Dean!"
The naming debate had been going for longer than either Dean or Castiel had first anticipated. It had started off innocent and jokey. It was starting to cease being so.
"That's a freaking lie and you know it—Yoda would be an awesome name—he's a classic character—"
"Then why won't you allow Abel?"
"What, from Great Expectations? You know the answer to that, Cas, don't pretend you fucking don't!"
"I don't!" Cas scowled. "Please, enlighten me!"
"'Cause our dog would be a fucking nerd—"
"Please, Dean—you're trying to persuade me to name our dog after a character from Star Wars! What the fuck do you constitute as nerdy?!—And please fucking explain how a dog can be a nerd—"
"None of this would have started if you hadn't been an absolute dipshit and suggested Moby-Dick."
"What the fuck would be the problem with that?!"
"It's got dick in it!" Dean yelled. His eyes met Cas' for a moment. Against his better will, Cas felt his lips twitching upwards. But he wasn't the first one to crack. Laughter bubbled up from Dean's chest, and he snorted into his hand, before losing it entirely. Castiel saw this as a cue for him to be allowed to laugh, too. At least he hadn't broken, first. Dean's body was shaking with laughter, and he turned back to Castiel with tears in his eyes. They could only make eye contact for a moment, before both of them burst out laughing, again.
"Spock," Dean breathed, laughter still fraying the edges of his words. "Please let us call our dog Spock."
"Absolutely fucking not." Cas shook his head.
"Benno van Archimboldi."
"What?" Dean's expression mirrored that of an odd combination between confusion and disgust. "Fuck, no." He shook his head, his nose wrinkling. "What that fuck, Cas? What the fuck—" Dean seemed so outrageously shocked by Cas' suggestion he had apparently lost the capacity for normal communication. "—I can't believe I fucking married you—"
"You—" Dean couldn't finish his sentence. He was laughing again.
"What's that s'posed to mean?"
"Bowie." Cas grinned.
"Okay, if we're going for music themed names, then Slash." Dean stated.
"Absolutely fucking not." Dean shook his head. "Ozzy."
"From Black Sabbath? No!"
Cas sighed. "Eugh." He stated, as if that should be explanation enough.
"Black Sabbath are awesome, Ca—"
"I thought we'd moved on from the music themed names, Dean."
"Nope." Dean shook his head. "Floyd."
"That'd be a terrible fucking name."
"No it wouldn't." Dean frowned.
"Unless we want to lose our dog and have it travel across half of the country to find us, no fucking way."
"Dogs named after dogs from films don't actually share the same fate, Dean—"
"It's a cute name." Dean shrugged.
"Yeah, for a person—"
"Dogs can have people names!" Dean objected. "And you suggested Petey! I'm pretty sure I once knew a guy called Petey!"
"That's such a lie, Dean."
"No—he was in my calculus class—"
"It's like you want our dog to get bullied."
"You've already said that."
"I'm just throwing it out there again."
"It's not helping—"
"It's a good name!"
"Oh, yeah, way to pick a stereotypical name, Cas." Dean rolled his eyes. "Geez, I thought writers were supposed to be fucking original."
"Well, you're not exactly leaving many options for me."
"That's 'cause you keep making shitty suggestions."
"We're not naming our dog after the creepy purple dinosaur."
"I'm pretty sure that the name was around before the dinosaur, Dean—"
"Khan!" Dean exclaimed, eyes widening, a grin spreading across his face.
"I Khan't believe you'd say that." Dean smirked.
"We're getting a divorce."
"It's a dog, Dean."
"I know! I once knew a dog called Ted!"
"Well, it sounds like the name for a bear."
"That's the point."
"You're so annoying." The dark haired man sighed into his hand.
"Scotty." Dean suggested. "Scott."
"Hm." Cas pressed his lips together, into a thin line.
"Like from Star Trek."
"I realised, yes, Dean."
"Lou. Like Lou Reed."
"Are all your suggestions either references to sci-fi or musicians?"
"Pretty much." Dean grinned.
"You're so fucking annoying."
"You're so fucking stubborn."
Castiel scowled at Dean.
Dean snorted. Castiel's scowl hardened. "Wait," He laughed. "No—" He grinned, laughter still bubbling out of him. "How about we call—" Tears filled Dean's eyes again. "He'd fucking hate us—but it'd be so worth it—"
Dean banged his hand on the table, snorting. He composed himself for long enough to say one word. One syllable.
Castiel tried to keep a straight face. He really did.
"You look like such a freakin' idiot." Dean grinned as he watched Cas attempt to carry Mary on his shoulders whilst chasing their dog around the garden.
"Shut up," Cas laughed. "You're the one who wanted a dog."
Sam and Jess were round for lunch, along with their kid, Deanna. Dean had tried to act embarrassed as well as offended that Sam and Jess would name their daughter after him, but he was secretly pretty fucking elated. Well, embarrassed, too.
As well as Sam, Jess and Deanna, Bobby, Ellen, Jo and Anna were all round, too—Anna was staying with Dean and Cas for a few days, in the spare bedroom. They had all decided to make the most out of the nice weather, and sit outside—but that had quickly escalated into Cas having to carry Mary about the garden and pretend that she was the crown queen of the place. Dean grinned at the sight. He was trying not to find it too entertaining.
"Hey, what does Mary call you and Cas?" Sam asked, turning to Dean. "'Cause calling both of you 'dad' would probably get a bit confusing."
"It does get confusing." Dean admitted, laughing. "But as a general rule of thumb, Cas is Papa, and I'm Daddy."
"That's cute." Jess laughed.
"Yeah, I think so, too." Dean grinned. He glanced over to Cas again. "You look pretty tired." He chuckled.
"Maybe you should be the one to carry Mary about for a bit." Castiel panted, slightly.
"I'm alright, thanks." Dean laughed. "Besides, I'm holding Jimmy." He gestured to their son, not five months old, wrapped in Dean's arms. "And you know how he gets."
Cas sighed and rolled his eyes.
"Sorry, Mary, we're gonna have to stop, there—"
Mary whined a loud protest, but Cas still pulled her off his shoulders.
"Blame your other father. Not me. I'm all tired out."
"You're getting old, Cas." Dean grinned from where he sat.
"Well, seeing as you're not volunteering to play horse for a bit, I'd say you're getting older."
"Mary, ask your Uncle Sammy if you can get a shoulder ride around the garden." Dean laughed.
"Fine." Sam sighed, sitting up and picking up Dean and Cas' daughter, who laughed gleefully. "C'mon, Mary."
Jess pulled Deanna up onto her lap.
"How's work going, Dean?" She asked.
"Alright." He shrugged. "I think I prefer parenting, though."
"Well, quitting now ain't an option, kid." Bobby growled over to Dean, who laughed and looked away. "I'm serious!" He exclaimed. "And I don't think there's anyone else I could trust with running the second garage."
"You've worked with Rufus your whole life." Dean frowned.
"Yeah, and I'm not stopping, now." Bobby replied. "We've always run the business together—I don't want to have the two of us at other ends of the town, working."
"That's cute, Bobby."
"That's friendship." Bobby shrugged. Dean rolled his eyes.
"You're just pissed 'cause you don't have a cute baby to look after." Dean grinned.
"I've got you." Bobby countered. Dean scowled at the laughter this particular comment caused.
"Shut up." Dean grumbled.
"Do you know if Michael and Gabe coming, at any point today?" Anna asked, supressing a smile at Dean's frustration. "They said they'd try to, at least—but that's all I've heard."
"Michael's coming, and so is Rachel. I'm pretty sure Gabriel is gonna drop by, too, and I think he said something about bringing Kali. But I'm not sure." Dean replied.
"Oh, okay." Anna nodded. "Kali's pretty cool." She laughed.
"You'd have to be, if you were going to settle down with Gabe." Anna reminded. Dean's lips twitched upwards.
"Yeah, I guess." He chuckled.
Cas settled down beside Dean.
"Do you want me to take Jimmy?" He asked. Dean smiled and handed their son to his husband.
"I thought you were tired of holding kids." Dean grinned.
"Shut up, Dean." Cas rolled his eyes. "Tired of carrying them around on my back, maybe."
"That's a blatant lack of commitment on your part, Cas." Dean laughed. "I'm really disappointed."
Cas attempted to look mildly annoyed and brushed his shoulder against Dean's, softly.
"You're impossible." He rolled his eyes.
"It's been said."
Dean and Castiel were walking down the high street, when they saw it. Mary was walking inbetween Dean and Castiel, holding their hands, while Dean, one-handed, pushed the pram containing Jimmy chattering happy nonsense to himself. Castiel had been absently glancing along the line of shop-fronts, the displays in the windows, whilst listening to Mary tell himself and Dean about what she would do if she had a giraffe as a pet—something which Dean and Cas had, unfortunately, had to deny her. He stopped dead in his track as soon as he saw it.
"Papa?" Mary tugged at Castiel's hand, her tone questioning, as she stared up at him with soft confusion. "Why aren't you walking?"
Castiel found himself lost for words.
"I—" He tried. The words flaked in his mouth and turned to ash as he attempted to form them with his tongue.
"Cas?" Dean frowned, looking over to his husband. "What's wrong—"
Castiel pointed, but he didn't need to—Dean had turned to see what he was looking at, and had, apparently, found himself as incapable of speech as his husband had.
"What is it?" Mary asked, frowning, her tone turning slightly frustrated. She tugged at her father's hand, again, in an attempt to gain his attention, once more.
"It's my book." His voice choked.
He pointed to the display, once again. Of his book. Of the posters behind it, and the stacks of books lined up, spines on display, showing off the title and, in deep maroon lettering, his name.
His name was in bold lettering on the posters, too. The posters with concept art for his story. The entire front window was dedicated to Castiel's book. To Castiel.
"What?" Mary asked, the frown still evident in her voice. In his peripheral vision, Castiel made out Dean dropping Mary's hand, and taking a step toward him. He felt Dean's hand slip into his own, saw a soft smile of Dean's face.
"Your daddy's a writer, kids." Dean beamed at his husband. "A famous writer."
Castiel blushed furiously.
Dean leant in close and brushed his nose across Castiel's cheek.
"I told you, Castiel." Dean mumbled gently. Cas felt himself laugh and duck his head, his eyes crinkling at their corners, but Dean's fingers grazed under his jaw, tilting his head back up, and he barely had time to think before Dean was kissing him, there, in the middle of the street, in front of the display filled with Castiel's name and Castiel's books.
"Daddy!" Mary tugged at the legs of both of her fathers' jeans, now. Jimmy had finally looked up, and was peering out of his pram, a confused look on his face; clearly unsure of why they had stopped, and why everyone seemed so distressed.
"Castiel Novak, the famous published author, is my husband." Dean grinned. He grazed his nose against his husband's, again. "He's mine," Dean mumbled gently, a proud, joyful beam fixed across his features as he brushed his lips against Castiel's. "And I'm his."
And that's all! One year! That's a little crazy for me to think about, not gonna lie! I hope you've all enjoyed it as much as I have - (without being at risk of sounding appallingly sentimental. I've loved every minute.)
I have no clue when my next story will be up, but hopefully soon. As I've mentioned, it's a medieval fantasy au, destiel, with some really complex plotline underlying that I'm still trying to figure out. Beta readers would be much appreciated.
I hope you loved the epilogue, and the rest of the story, I've had an absolutely wonderful time writing it for you all! Thank You!