Dean watches as Castiel lies on the floor playing with their baby. He smiles as little Jacob slobbers and pats Cas’s face, and Castiel tilts his chin up, giving him better access to start sucking on his chin. The best part about it is seeing how relaxed Cas seems. He’s laughing right along with Jacob’s gurgles and giggles, and Dean’s heart melts. He shakes his head as he remembers the look of fear on Cas’s face when he had first suggested them adopting.
He and Cas had been together for 5 years, had been friends 4 years before that until they realized they were both being idiots and liked each other as more than just friends. He and Cas both worked and spent their evenings and weekends together, and as much as Dean loved it, he wanted a family.
He wanted a family with Cas, more importantly.
They had talked about kids early on in their relationship but had both decided it was too soon for them both, that they needed to be more settled, comfortable with each other because they both weren’t good at relationships and what if theirs turned out like all the others and failed miserably? But after a year and a half, Dean knew he couldn’t see himself growing old with anyone but Cas, and he didn’t want to grow old with anyone else either.
He had this picture in his mind of he and Cas old and gray, him with fading hearing and Cas in glasses with fading eyesight, cuddled up together, a fire roaring, a Christmas tree with multicolored lights in the corner and several stockings hanging from the fireplace for all their kids and grandchildren who were upstairs sleeping waiting for Santa to come. But as much as he wanted that a year into their relationship, he could tell Cas wasn’t ready yet.
So he waited.
He left little hints, volunteered him and Cas to babysit his brother Sam’s two kids often, and hoped that if Cas could be comfortable with his niece and nephew he’d be okay with one of his own. Of course that stage took 2 more years until Dean finally sat Cas down one day and told it to him straight:
“Cas, I love you.”
“I love you, too, Dean.”
“This is it for me, Cas. You. It’s only ever going to be you.” Cas had smiled at that because as much as he knew Dean loved him, Dean didn’t really say it out loud much.
“I feel the same way. I know it took some time, but it will only be you for me, too.”
“So, do you think, maybe… we could start a family? Adopt?”
And that was when Cas had given him a look of sheer terror like he was asking Cas to jump off a cliff. It took some more questions and talks, but Dean figured out that it wasn’t that Cas didn’t want a family or was afraid of children, it was that he was worried he would turn out like his dad and be a horrible father.
Dean had plenty of his own Daddy issues to understand where Cas was coming from, but he’d seen Cas with Sam’s kids, and seen him smile and wave and make faces at the children they sat behind on planes or in booths at a restaurant or in line at the store. Cas was great with kids, and Dean knew he’d be even better with their own child, that Cas’s fears were unfounded.
Eventually Cas had said okay. Made Dean promise to tell Cas if he did something wrong, made them sign up for parenting classes, read dozens of parenting books and magazines, and researched hundreds of websites and forums on adoption and raising children who are adopted.
It was the actual adoption that took the most time and was the most trying on both of them. There was so much paperwork and trial periods and some fell through or backed out, but finally they were given Jacob, and it was the greatest thing to happen to both of them. Cas had taken to being a dad like a duck to water, and although they had agreed that Dean would quit his job and stay home since Cas had the better paying job, Cas often worked from home or left the office early just because he couldn’t stand to be away from them for long. He would beg Dean to bring Jacob to work and join him for lunch, and unless he had errands to run, Dean often complied.
They were a perfect family unit. Cas still stressed sometimes about doing something wrong or messing Jacob up, but Dean would sooth and kiss his fears away and tell him they’d figure it out together. Cas and Jacob were Dean’s world, and he was grateful every day that he had them in his life.
And as Cas picks Jacob up and blows raspberries on his stomach to make him laugh and giggle, Dean has a thought.
“Hey, Cas. What do you think about having a little girl?”
Cas sits up, hugging Jacob closer to his chest and looks straight at Dean. “I think we should name her after your mother, Mary.”