Names and Titles
Sam's a good liar. Hell. He's a professional liar. And that's the only reason he gets through Chelsea's big announcement on their third week of living together sounding supportive and dignified.
Well, that and the fact that Chelsea sounds at least half as scared as he is. Had she come at him with pure joy and a list of names, it's possible he would have panicked and been in Cuernavaca by morning, but Chelsea is on the same page that he is as she goes through everything. How careful they've been. How many types of birth control they were using. Holding Baby Georgie and realizing that she'd been eating weird, had put on some weight and had actually been five days late already. All three of the pregnancy tests she took, including the one in the CVS bathroom when she'd just "run an errand" later on Thanksgiving night. The whole discussion she had had with the doctor, and how even her gyno had agreed that this whole thing was statistically unlikely.
Their conversation ends with Sam feeling a little bit like he's been hit by a bus and the two of them wrapped in a desperately clingy hug- like they're the only people on a plane full of skydivers who changed their minds. They took the class, they know they have the parachutes, but they're not ready to jump.
They shuffle around the living room tensely for another hour before going up to bed, where they lie together staring up at the ceiling with their hands clasped tightly between them.
And for all of Sam's determination to be less codependent and have a healthier relationship with Dean, and despite his promise to himself that he was going to pull back a little and make sure that they stayed "Sam and Chelsea" and "Cas and Dean" instead of merging back into "Sam and Dean and Chelsea and Cas", right now he is terrified and he needs his brother.
Castiel is a little out of his depth. He's adjusted and learned and acclimatized. He's been human for a little more than three years and when he puts forth the effort, he can pass as perfectly normal. Sometimes he enjoys surprising Dean with how normal he could be if he tried. They had been invited to a party thrown by one of Dean's fellow students, and Dean had been amused (and, Castiel suspected, jealous) of how charming the other nursing students had found Castiel.
But he's not actually human. His behaviors are all learned. He doesn't have human instincts. So the introduction of an oncoming baby human into his schema is confusing and overwhelming.
Particularly because he doesn't understand anyone's reaction. Chelsea had seemed afraid and regretful when she'd first told him. She had hugged him as though she was sad. She seemed better now, not relieved at all, but a little bit happier.
When Castiel had seen Sam the morning after Chelsea had told him he had been wearing the type of expression that Castiel would have expected from someone who had just been shot, and a few weeks later, he still seems nervous and distracted. He had come over to work phones yesterday afternoon and "zoned out". The CIA line had rung for a very long time before Sam noticed.
Castiel supposes that this is mostly because this came as a shock and he does know that an unexpected pregnancy makes women upset. When Gabriel had been sent to deliver the news unto Mary he had come back rather shocked at the beating that he'd taken from the young virgin.
While Cas can't wholly empathize with Sam and Chelsea's reactions because procreation was never an option for him, and is even less of an option now that he is in a homosexual relationship, he can at least logically understand them.
But he can't make sense of Dean's reaction at all. Sometimes Dean is thrilled. Something about the way he had smiled when he'd told Chelsea that he knew and hugged her had made Castile's heart ache. He smiles a lot when Chelsea and Sam are around, and when he was still trying to keep the secret.
But sometimes, when he thinks Castiel isn't looking, he seems… not sad exactly. Melancholy maybe. Wistful. They've been having sex a lot more than usual and sometimes Castiel's not sure if it's comfort, or celebration. Or both. Or neither.
Chelsea is getting used to the idea of the baby. She can feel how her body is changing and that makes it more real. She has always wanted kids-not like this- she had wanted to be married a couple years, have a little more savings. A few months ago, when she realized that when she thought about kids, she also thought about Sam as the father, she had also wanted for him to have a couple more years to acclimatize to normal, and have a couple years where he didn't live with Dean before they did this.
She knew going into dating Sam that there was going to be the occasional conversation about Dean and boundaries in her future. She got that they had an extreme relationship and that it was unhealthy and codependent, but she also understood why. She thinks a couple more years out of the life, when both of them have steady important relationships other than each other will undo a lot of damage.
Besides. She loves Dean and he's a good guy. And she needs a few answers from someone who knows everything about Sam, and Dean fits the bill.
It's not that Sam's done anything wrong. He's been sweet and attentive, but obviously white knuckling it. He's dazed and panicked and jumpy. And it's starting to freak her out. She's not afraid that he'll run away. And even if she was- if she woke up one morning and Sam was gone, Dean would hunt him down and drag him back hogtied to the roof of the car within a couple days. He's just… not okay.
And Dean wants them to be okay, and out of everyone, Dean seems the most excited about the oncoming baby. So the next time they are all hunting at the house, Chelsea decides to use it against him. She lies about something she thinks she lost upstairs, has Dean help her look for it and shuts the door behind them.
"I'm afraid that Sam's going to freak out on me here," she tells him.
Dean nods and wraps his arms protectively around himself. It takes him a minute to respond. "Yeah… I noticed."
"Do you… do you know what's wrong?"
"No. But I'll take care of this."
Chelsea smiles, hugs him and sighs, "Uncle Dean to the rescue."
Dean's whole body shivers in her arms at being called 'Uncle Dean'.
"Uncle Dean?" He asks with that cut off uncomfortable laugh he uses when he's refusing to get emotional.
Chelsea him tighter. "Uncle Dean."
It's not an intervention. It's just dinner. Karen started a Zumba class at the YWCA, so Dean suggests to Bobby that he and Sam come over for a visit. Cas volunteers to hang out with Chelsea and, apparently, help her throw up. The only way that it's really like an intervention is that no one tells Sam about it. Dean shows up at Sam and Chelsea's, drops off Cas and hustles a surprised Sam into the car.
So maybe a little bit more like a kidnapping than an intervention then.
It's only made slightly less weird by the fact that Sam acknowledges it first. He melts back into the passenger seat with a groan. "Okay. I deserve this. For years I've been all- I just want to be normal. I want a normal life. This is normal. House. Girlfriend. Baby on the way. Normalnormalnormal," Sam babbles.
"And yet- you've spent the last week and a half looking like you'll hurl if someone yells boo," Dean says.
"Yeah… well it's a lot of normal really quickly, and guess what- my life could be a goddamned Leave it to Beaver episode and I'd still be the freak guest star." He bashes his head back against the seat. "I have no idea what I'm doing. I could fuck this up so badly. I'm not ready to be a father."
"Well. You've got seven months. Get ready. Because if you do fuck up, I am going to kill you, invite Chelsea to move in with us, and be living in the worst fucking sitcom ever."
"How could I possibly not fuck this up?" Sam demands.
"What are you afraid you'll do? It's a baby. They're pretty resilient. I once fed you kool-aid and ramen and the worst thing that happened was you hurled purple."
"I'm afraid I'll turn into Dad!" Sam bursts out.
"You used to bitch about Dad not letting us be normal all the time. At the very least can't you calm down by telling yourself that you'll do the opposite?"
"But I won't," Sam spits. "It'll just kick in."
"Why would you think that?"
"Adam," Sam replies instantly. "You said it yourself. An hour around that kid and I was Dad. Quoting him, teaching how to shoot and that he couldn't be anything but a Hunter once he was in the life?" Sam snaps his fingers. "Just like that."
"That was different. He was a grown man. We were on a case."
"That's not what you said back then."
Dean can't think of an answer to that and lets silence settle in the Impala.
"I can't give this kid a normal life," Sam finally continues. "Salt lines everywhere. Devil's traps under all the rugs. If I don't have those things… I'll never sleep. I'll just be convinced that something awful is going to happen to both of them until I crack. And I've already cracked this year."
"So we'll do it," Dean agrees. "Kids gonna have a cast iron crib, there'll be salt in the goddamn nursery paint and when that kid hits six months we're all gonna sit there all night armed and ready for a platoon of demons, but that doesn't mean you're going to turn the kid into a hunter or that having a baby will make you into Dad."
"If I do… if I starting treating this kid like Dad treated us- you'll stop me right?"
"Course I will."
"And if I peel out on Chelsea like Dad peeled out on Mom after I was born?"
"I will hunt you down."
The rest of the drive is silent. Dean can tell when they get to Bobby's that Sam's freezing up. He takes delivering the news on himself.
"So, Bobby, Sam's got a question for ya."
Bobby can clearly tell he's being set up.
"Uh huh. And what's that, son?"
Sam's head jolts up and gives him the slightly crazy-eyed stare he's been giving people a lot lately.
Dean slaps Sam on the back to snap him out of it. "What do you think of being called Grampa Bobby?"
Bobby looks confused, then after his gaze shifts over to Sam's rigid expression of crazy nerves, stunned, then excited. Bobby pulls Sam into a hug and Dean fights down the uncomfortable spike of sadness and jealousy. He's still gonna be and uncle, even if he'll never be a father, and he's gonna be a great uncle.
Bobby waves them into the kitchen while Sam stutters through all the updates that everyone else had needed. The baby isn't why they'd moved in together. They were surpised. They were getting over the shock and now they were happy and excited.
"Yeah. You look like it. Come on. I'll fix you a drink. You look like you could use one."
The only liquor in the house is Karen's Midori, but Sam doesn't turn his nose up at it. He tells Bobby what he told Dean. Bobby nods along until Sam finally talks himself out.
"John had some misguided instincts with you boys, but he loved you. That' ll show. You can't … you can't let your father haunt you. I let my father haunt me. He was a rat bastard and the only mercy he ever showed anyone was dying young. Karen and I never had kids because I was terrified of becoming him." Bobby shakes his head.
Dean's skin crawls uncomfortably at Bobby's admission. Dean had never heard him talk about his family, and was only now- in his 30's- realizing the he'd never asked. He remembered always being excited to be dropped off at Uncle Bobby's when he was little because Bobby played baseball with them and made them good hot dinners. Dean had kind of assumed that bobby had grown up happy and normal and then things had taken a tragic later on. From the look on Sam's face he'd though the same.
"And it's not worth it to let a dead man make your decisions."
Sam nods, finishes his stupidly green drink and pours himself another. Bobby smiles fondly at the two of them. "I always thought if I had kids, I'd make an unholy mess out of them. But you boys tuned out alright. The…" Bobby clears his throat and Dean realizes the grizzled old man is choking up. "My grand kids will be alright."
He slaps Sam on the back again.
"Yeah…okay. Yeah… I'll just… have to be really sure that I don't give him a 45 when he thinks there are monsters in the closet."
Dean laughs, a little mirthlessly. He remembers that. He'd wound up taking the gun from Sam and promising to sit up with it and watch for monsters so he could sleep.
"Maybe you'll have a girl," Dean offers.
Sam freezes like someone hit pause on him. Dean and bobby watch him warily for a moment.
"Maybe I'll have a girl," Sam repeats. "Maybe… I'll have a girl."
He laughs. One loud sudden boom, like thunder. "Well…shit. I could do that."
The three of them dissolve into a weird relieved laughter and the conversation lightens. Bobby offers to help convert the extra room into a nursery that is both cuddly and demon resistant and after another half hour Dean piles Sam back into the car.
"So, you okay now?" Dean asks.
"Nah, still terrified and freaking out, but better. Definitely better."
"Alright. Well. I hope so."