A Winchester Baby
Chelsea thinks it's sweet how all the guys have gone a little baby-crazy. It's a little too much, but it's sweet.
She gets asked how she's doing too often. Cas gets nervous if she shows essentially any sign of discomfort and calls to make sure that she can eat what he's going to make for dinner if she's coming over. Dean is always in the background of these conversations going "Cas? Why wouldn't she be able to eat spinach?" or "Seriously, man, apples?"
Bobby and Karen had been almost crazed with happiness at the latest Friday dinner and Chelsea had cried a little bit (and tried to pass it off as hormones) when Bobby showed her a sketch of what he'd been working on. He was making a crib, and Castiel was helping drench the thing in Angelic protection magics. There were carvings and the whole thing could be rocked.
The boys are all working on the nursery. It's a Winchester baby, so it's less about picking out a soft color, a mobile, and some stuffed animals and more about ripping out the window and door frames and laying down hidden salt lines and cutting into the walls to slip hex-bags everywhere, but it's cute to watch them all working together on it. They're planning on getting the anti-demon/ghost/monster stuff done first and them moving on to the paint and toys part.
It's nice that they're all so excited. Her own family is trying to be supportive, because it's too damn late at this point to be anything else- but they obviously think that she's making a mistake and that the only reason she's even trying to make a go of it with crazy, abused, weirdo Sam is because he knocked her up.
Sam's expedition with Dean seems to have helped him calm down. Minimal nudging afterward had gotten him to come clean about why he was so scared. She's promised to call him on his shit if he goes weird on her again. Having proactive baby stuff to work on seems to be helping keep him centered too. Working on the nursery gives him something to do. He's started reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting". Chelsea's trying to scrape up the balls to read it too, but the expressions Sam sometimes makes while reading it scare her, especially because this is a man who used to routinely dig up bodies.
The ultra sound had spun him a little bit, but not in a bad way. Chelsea could see the way his face changed when he looked at it, like the concept of the baby was a little less terrifying and a little more real to him. He'd asked three times how soon they could find out the gender. Chelsea knows he thinks he'll have an easier time wrapping his head around a daughter than a son, but she's sure that either way he'll be fine.
The one person who seems to be completely level headed and in control about this whole thing is Dean. He's keeping Castiel's worry (about lady parts in general as far as Chelsea can tell) under control, he's keeping Sam's panic under control. He's helping Bobby maintain his whole gruff old Hunter persona whenever the old guy gets a little worked up over grandkids.
Which mean's Chelsea's expecting Dean to lose it basically any day now. She's just not sure over what.
And then one day the boys are over, trying to figure out how to hide Devil's traps so that Chelsea's mother will never see one of them, and Chelsea sees Dean looking at the ultra sound that Sam had put up on the fridge.
His jaw is set hard and his eyes are faraway.
And that's when Chelsea realizes that Dean's been quietly losing it the whole time. Just like he was when he was obsessively looking for Sam, but everyone's been too busy or too emotional to see it.
"We're going in for the second ultra sound on a couple weeks," Chelsea tells him. He doesn't jump, but she can tell that he didn't hear her come up to him. "Where we find out if it's a boy or a girl."
Dean flicks a smile at her, and then another at the black and orange blur where you can barely tell there's a baby before sticking the picture back on the fridge. "Awesome."
"Yeah." Chelsea nods. "We'll be sure to get the video so you guys can see it."
"I'd like that."
"Sweetheart… can I ask you something?"
Dean tears his gaze away from the picture and lets his eyes actually settle on her. "What do you need?"
"Do you… have you thought about kids at all?"
Dean huffs. "I was never going to have a stable enough life for kids. Then I was always going to die too early to worry about it. And now… I've got Cas… so… not exactly going to be getting a girl in trouble anytime soon."
"Well, yeah. But do you want kids?"
"It doesn't matter," Dean says. "Cas and I couldn't have them even if I did." He stands up a little straighter, pulling into a conversation ending stance, and Chelsea dives in before he locks off again.
"So you do want kids."
Dean doesn't answer.
"Sweetheart, you don't have to actually have kids, you could ado-"
"Adopt?" Dean cuts her off. "Yeah. We could afford to adopt on the book money from Chuck, and we've been patching up the house enough that if we moved the armory over to Bobby's and scrubbed up some of the devil's traps and thought of some excuse to keep someone out of the panic room, and Cas was at his most normal we might be able to pass a home study, but that's kind of a stretch. And even if we lucked our way through that, or moved, there's the financial evaluation. I'm in my thirties and I only have two years of tax records and the credit history of a potato. Cas doesn't even have that."
Chelsea lets the revelation that Dean hasn't just thought about this, he's looked into it, researched it like a case, wash over her. "What if… what if you just waited a few more years? After you finish school and you've both been… on the grid a little longer?"
"Cas isn't on the grid. No birth certificate. I have a death certificate on file from the time the FBI caught up with us and the helicopter we were supposed to be in got roasted by Lilith and her crew. There are a couple of ways to get around that, but it takes years for a normal family to get an adoption set up. They ask for references and I'm sure you and Sam and Thomas and Bobby would be on board, but if they ask anyone from my old job or at my school? We're a couple of psychologically scarred gay veterans in South Dakota. If we started trying tomorrow I could be pushing 60 at the kids graduation. And surrogacy's got most of the same issues at five times the cost." Dean drinks from his glass of ice tea like he's willing it to become a beer. "It's a huge impossible thing, Chels. That's just the way it is." Dean clears his throat and slaps an innocent smile on instantly as Cas walks into the kitchen.
"Hey, you were supposed to bring us ice-tea," Cas says.
"I know. I'm on it. Just checking in with Chelsea," Dean says. Cas gives him a carefully evaluating look, and Chelsea can tell that he knows better than to just blindly believe the smile.
"Are you alright?" Cas asks her. Again.
"Fine, Cas," Chelsea says. His constant fretting is starting to grate her nerves just a little bit, but she gets that his mother hen concern comes from love and a total lack of understanding of babies, pregnancy and the whole enchilada. She had also, because of something Sam had said, looked Cas up one time and learned that one of the duties of the Angel of Thursday had been to watch over children born on Thursdays and come to the somewhat creepy realization that he'd probably heard a lot of prayers from mothers delivering, and that most of them weren't just sending up a jolly little thank you note.
"I'll be right up with the tea," Dean says. Cas nods and goes back upstairs. Dean turns back to Chelsea. "Please don't tell him about this. He'll think it's because of him and it's not. This is just as impossible for me now as it was before the apocalypse. That's just the way it is. Besides. I love the crap out of the guy, but really imagine Cas as a father here?"
Chelsea sighs, scoots Dean away from the fridge and grabs the pitcher of ice tea. "Well. He's going to be an uncle in six months. And I think the two of you are going to be fantastic."
Dean huffs, but pulls her into a hug and kisses her temple. As much as Dean has softened in the last couple of years, this is still not really a Dean move, and it breaks Chelsea's heart a little.
The next six months are a blur for Dean. School's insane. Cas starts looking for a part time job because he's bored and keeps getting shot down because he's thirty five with no work experience other than a hotel cleaning job.
Sam shows up at the house a couple nights before New Years when Dean and Cas are in the middle of a little pre-dinner stress relief and bangs on the door yelling, "It's a girl! It's a girl!" until they come out to celebrate with him.
Chelsea's sister Libby shows up unannounced just after the nursery is done being bad-guy proofed, but in the middle of putting up wards, protections and deterrents around the rest of the house. She finds the Enochian symbols that Cas has been carefully carving underneath all the window frames. Chelsea has her convinced that it's an old English superstition when Dean, Cas and Sam was in with a bucket of graveyard dirt, herbs, a bunch of leather pouches and a sack of goopher dust.
Just as Libby's about to have a conniption over Chelsea getting brainwashed into a crazy occult cult Gabriel appears in the middle of the living room with flowers, a giant teddy bear, and a declaration that he's always liked Chelsea and thinks she could have done better. He'd been tickled when Libby had shouted, "This shit's all real? You're really Gabriel?". He'd kissed her hand, disappeared and it had taken three shots of rum and a walk around the house to calm Libby down. But she'd believed them, and they'd gotten her to start wearing an anti possession charm.
Dean had already declared the Libby/Gabriel incident the moment that, should Chuck keep writing Supernatural, the books with jump the shark, but then in March Kilgerney and Martinez call just to let everyone know that they are hunting an Honest-to-God Big-foot.
Sam's ready to call that the moment the world officially went crazy until a series of normal, mundane issues mean he misses one of Chelsea's Lamaze classes and she ends up taking Cas. When they come over for family dinner directly afterward Chelsea can't stop laughing. Cas is huffy and offended. No one ever finds out what happened at the class and halfway through dinner Sam has to hammer on Dean's back until a pretty major hunk of chicken dislodges from his throat, because Cas asked him what a "Guncle" was.
Outside of the blip with Chelsea, Dean's doing a decent job avoiding the subject of his own potential kids, given the circumstances. He knows Chelsea had told Sam what he said. Sam's hasn't said anything directly, but he started talking about "Uncle Dean and Uncle Cas" a lot more, and making a lot of jokes about Dean babysitting.
That comes to a sharp, sudden, weird end, though. Sam makes a joke about letting Dean do all kinds of Dad things. Like cleaning up puke and changing diapers. Cas makes a disgusted "urgh" noise. Dean responds with "You think I don't have a damn black belt in cleaning up puke and changing diapers? Who do you think cleaned you up when Dad was passed out on the couch?"
Sam snorts, but Chelsea looks a little scandalized for a moment before she hides it. Dean catches the expression that flicks across her face, and the expression that settles on Sam's face when he must have felt her tense up beside him.
Dean tries to fix it with, "Seriously. I had to teach you to walk just because I was sick of carrying you around like a doll." And unlike the millions of times he's thought this to himself with a mental smirk, watching Chelsea, obviously pregnant, tucked under Sam's arm, with his hand resting on her stomach, thumbing tenderly along the roundness of her, it sounds… the way it would sound if they had ever been normal.
Things are just about to get really, really awkward when Sam and Chelsea both jump and yell.
Cas and Dean are both on their feet, looking behind them, ready, because some instincts die hard.
"No, no, she kicked, she kicked!" Chelsea says, "Come here!"
That night kills the "Dean-with-babies" jokes from there on out. Libby's totally innocent, unknowing attempt to gently rib him gets very weirdly shut down to the point where even Cas notices.
Dean hasn't said anything to Cas about the whole… thing where he wants kids. He feels like crap about it, which is stupid because it's not like he's snowing Cas… but it still feels like it's a lie by omission.
He just doesn't feel like discussing a totally moot point. And as moot as it is… he's not sure he'll be able to hear Cas declare he's glad they can't, or that he wouldn't want to anyway. He's not sure why it matters, but it does.
His midterms grades taking a beating with everything that's going on, and he decides to take the summer off. He knows better than to think that he can concentrate on anything else when there's a baby niece crawling around.
Dean's fried after a completely brutal week at school. There were tests and readings and one of the girls who's been having a rough time because of her own family issues had actually snapped, cursed a blue streak at their shocked prof, and stormed out.
It's Friday, he's gotten four hours of sleep every night all week and he's really feeling it. He should be doing homework, but he's exhausted and Cas is indulging him. There was strawberry rhubarb pie with whip cream. And now there is a John Wayne movie in the DVD player. He's sitting between Cas's legs with his back resting against Cas's chest, zoning, verging on dozing. He can tell by the way that Cas is absently playing with his fingers and rubbing against his cheek that he is getting blown tonight. Or maybe in the morning after he's finally gotten some fucking sleep.
"I'm concerned that the baby stops kicking when I touch Chelsea's stomach," Cas says quietly. "She's kicked for everyone else. She stops kicking sometimes when I touch Chelsea."
"What, afraid she's not going to like you?" Dean yawns.
Cas doesn't say anything. "Is that an indication that she might not?"
"No, no," Dean sits up and kisses him. "I'm kidding. I'm sorry. Babies like everyone. Whatever makes her not kick probably has nothing to do with you.
"Oh. Good," Cas tugs at Dean's arms as though he's trying to pull him back down, but changes his mind. His hands creep up Dean's arms and around his neck, thumbing at the nape. "It makes you sad that we won't have children."
Dean feels like he's just been dunked in ice.
"What?" He asks.
"It makes you sad that we won't have children," Cas repeats, a little more loudly.
Dean clears his throat and tries to pull back, Cas follows along with him and Dean pulls Cas's hands away from his face.
"Umm… I don't… I don't want to talk about this," Dean finally says.
Cas's head quirks, in the old way. Dean leans forward to kiss him and Cas turns his head away.
"Did Chelsea say anything to you?" Dean asks with a defeated sigh.
"No. I'm socially under developed- I'm not stupid. And I know you," Cas says. "And I don't want you to be sad."
"It doesn't matter," Dean tells him. "You just said it- we won't have any." His voice finally croaks a little and it's one of those moments where he realizes out of nowhere that this is being in a relationship. Cas is the person he's telling this to. Not Chelsea, not Sam. Cas is the person he can hold on to and not have to be… "Dean" with when he talks about this crap. "It's not… it's not something I'm giving up. It's something that was never a possibility and it's still not." Dean shrugs. "But… there's Sam, and Chelsea, and at least one rugrat so far. Right?"
"Right," Cas says, "But-"
Dean's phone rings. He groans. It's probably Anya. She's kind of sad and chubby and intense and has nothing better to do on a Friday night than homework, but they worked together on a project one time and now sometimes she calls him about the homework. She's sweet and she's the only girl in class who's never hit on him.
"Hold that thought?"
Cas nods and when Dean ducks forward for a quick kiss Cas lets him.
It's not Anya. It's Sam.
"Hey? Everything alright?"
"It's time!" Sam yells. "It's happening! Now. We're- what? What do you mean they won't admit you? There is a person coming out of- four minutes are you fucking kidding me?"
Dean hears Chelsea yelling something in the background.
"Okay… well… Dean's practically a nurse so… how many minutes is it now?"
"Is Chelsea having the baby?"
"Umm… not enough for the hospital apparently, but yeah."
"We're on our way."
Dean hangs up, grabs Cas.
"Come on. We're gonna be Uncles."