It was a gloomy Tuesday when Castiel met Dean Winchester. The clouds were angry, and so was his mother. It seemed that the morning wasn’t the best time to play hide and seek with her. She still kissed him goodbye though, still told him that she loved him.
“I lub you too,” Castiel had said, clutching his stuffed bumblebee as he watched his mother close the door softly behind her. She blew him a kiss through the window, and Castiel threw his hand up in the air to catch it. A joyous smile lit his face as he brought his chubby little fist to his chest, where his heart lay underneath.
“Bye Mommy!” he said happily, slapping his hand to his mouth and energetically exclaiming “mwah!” as he flung his arm into the air, stumbling slightly to keep his balance. Hael Novak bore a look of concentration, tongue sticking out and wings fluttering as she caught the imaginary kiss in midair, cupping it gently and bringing it over her own heart. Castiel giggled at the funny look on his mommy’s face before he waved enthusiastically. Hael waved back, then walked out of view of the door’s window.
“Come Castiel, let’s get you settled in,” said Miss Missouri, gently relieving Castiel of his bumblebee backpack, his wings flexing at the freedom. It wasn’t long before Castiel was thoroughly entertained by the mega bloks, building little bees and little dinosaurs. He was so preoccupied that he almost missed the door opening and seeing the two unfamiliar people entering the room.
One was a grown up, his hair dark and his face unshaven, rumpled flannel and untied combat boots suggesting he rushed to get here. The other, though, was a young boy with sandy blond hair and big green eyes. He looked around the room nervously as he held his blue and white blanky close to his chest, his other hand clutching his father’s jeans.
Castiel’s wings fluttered in curiosity, watching closely as Miss Missouri knelt down to talk to the boy, who didn’t seem to talk back. The man said something to Miss Missouri, and her face changed from soft and kind to deeply sad. She spoke to the boy softly and gently rubbed her thumb across his small hand. The boy seemed to hesitate before nodding and trading his grasp from his father’s jeans to the soft hand of Miss Missouri. She smiled kindly to him as his father ruffled his hair, grunting a farewell before he made his way out of the room. The boy watched his father go, not a sound escaping him.
Miss Missouri guided him over to the tubs, where everyone’s backpacks stayed until their parents picked them up. She gently took the backpack off the boy, Castiel taking notice that he had no wings. If he did have wings, Castiel thought, they’d be very pretty. As Miss Missouri stowed away the boy’s bag, Castiel got to his feet, holding mega bloks in both hands as he ran over in excitement.
“I’mCastieldoyouwannaplay?” Castiel said, thrusting one of his hands out to offer the mega blok to the boy. He stared wide eyed at Castiel before dropping his gaze to the mega blok sitting on his palm.
“Very thoughtful, Castiel! Dean, would you like to play mega bloks with Castiel?” Miss Missouri asked, rubbing his back comfortingly. Dean looked to Miss Missouri before looking back down at Castiel’s offering. He hesitantly reached out, picking up the mega blok and meeting Castiel’s eyes. He nodded, a small hint of a smile tugging at his lips. Castiel beamed, grasping Dean’s wrist and guiding him over to the mega blok playstation.
For the rest of the day, the two boys were nearly inseparable. Dean didn’t speak, but Castiel didn’t mind. They were off in their own world, playing and giggling to their hearts content. Dean left before Castiel, and they waved enthusiastically at each other before the door separated them.
That night, Castiel talked all about his new friend to his family. Michael and Anna didn’t have much interest, but his mother listened intently. Castiel’s other mother, Naomi Novak, arrived home just in time for Castiel to tell her all about Dean before bed time. She listened with rapt attention as Castiel told her about the sandcastles he’d built with Dean, the best he’d ever made.
Wednesday came and went, the boys attached at the hip all day long. Castiel did most of the talking, but that was okay with him. They spent the afternoon communicating through pictures; drawing the things they liked and their favourite toys. They had a lot in common, and Castiel found he really enjoyed drawing with Dean.
Thursday morning arrived, and Castiel was thrilled to see Dean already in the room and playing with the mega bloks. “Mommy!” Castiel gasped, “Mommy! Mommy! Dean’s here! You hab to see Dean! Let me show you Dean!” He clutched his mother’s hand as he dragged her over.
“Okay! Okay!” Hael laughed, “calm down, baby, no need to rush.”
Dean raised his head at the commotion and immediately smiled at the sight of Castiel. He quickly got up to meet Castiel half way, holding out his hand to give him a mega blok. Dean had saved it for him, his favourite mega blok.
“Thanks!” Castiel said, relinquishing his mother’s hand in favour of taking the offering. “This is my mommy,” he said, gesturing to the adult standing beside him. Dean smiled up at her, waving.
“Hello, Dean. It’s very nice to meet you,” she said, kneeling down in front of him. Dean smiled wider and waved again.
“He doesn’t like to talk, Mommy,” Castiel said, and she nodded in understanding.
“That’s okay, there are lots of other ways to talk,” she said, “we can figure that out later. I’ve got to go now, baby, so I’ll see you at the end of the day, okay?”
Castiel nodded, throwing his arms around his mother’s neck. “I lub you, Mommy.”
“I love you too, baby. Be good for Miss Missouri.” Hael gave Castiel a kiss on the cheek, which quickly turned into a raspberry. Castiel squealed, his laughter filling the entire room.
“You’re silly, Mommy.”
“Very silly,” Hael giggled, “bye baby.”
“Bye Mommy!” Castiel said, waving at her enthusiastically as she left the room, always closing the door softly behind her. Castiel turned back to Dean, only to find his smile replaced by sadness. Castiel frowned—he was about to ask what was wrong but was interrupted by Miss Missouri.
“How about we put your bag away, Castiel?” she said, guiding him towards the tubs. Castiel looked back at Dean, finding him looking at the floor, a frown on his face. Castiel grew concerned, upset that his friend was upset. After they stowed Castiel’s bag away, he walked back over to Dean, wanting to cheer him up.
“Are you okay?” Castiel asked, trying to make eye contact with Dean.
Castiel managed to see only a glimpse of Dean’s angry face before he was being shoved, falling hard on his backside, the mega blok falling out of his hand and forgotten on the floor. Castiel looked up at Dean in shock, trying to grasp what had just happened as he stared at Dean. His vision began to blur, and before he knew it, he was crying. Regret began to seep into Dean’s expression when the first tear fell.
“Castiel! Are you okay?” asked Miss Missouri, rushing over to help Castiel to his feet. She rubbed his back as Castiel sniffled, nodding at the floor.
“Dean, we need to have a talk, okay?” she said, taking Dean’s hand and gently walking him a couple metres away. Castiel stayed looking at the ground, wiping the tears from his face. He pondered Dean’s reasons for being so angry; was it something Castiel said? Did he not like his mother after all? And why was he sad?
It wasn’t long before Miss Missouri was back with Dean, her hands on his shoulders and his expression holding deep regret and sadness.
“Castiel, Dean’s very sorry that he pushed you, and he won’t do it again.” She turned to Dean. “That’s right, isn’t it, Dean?”
Dean nodded quickly and surely, upset at his rash actions. Castiel looked up at Dean, already having forgiven him, simply worried for his friend. “That’s okay,” Castiel said. Miss Missouri gave Dean a gentle pat on the shoulder before moving across the room.
Dean and Castiel stood awkwardly in front of each other. Their feet shuffled on the floor before Castiel heard Dean talk for the first time.
“My mommy’s in Heaven,” he whispered. Castiel looked up in shock, eyes wide. He began to grow sad as he realised what that meant. Dean’s bottom lip wobbled as he spoke again. “I don’t have a mommy anymore.”
Castiel didn’t hesitate as he saw Dean’s tears begin to fall, walking forward to wrap his arms around Dean. Castiel’s hug was returned by Dean as he began to sob, his head resting on Castiel’s shoulder.
Cas was struck with a pang of sadness as he realised how much Dean must have missed his own mother after meeting Castiel’s. He tried to think of a world without one of his moms, and quickly deemed it unfathomable. Castiel felt tears build in his own eyes, holding Dean close as his wings unfurled to wrap around the both of them, wanting to protect Dean in every way he knew how. Dean cried into Castiel’s shoulder, his little arms clinging to Castiel, taking the comfort his friend was giving him.
Miss Missouri kept a close eye on the two boys over the day. Dean was emotionally charged, but Castiel was nothing short of perfect in looking after his friend. Dean began to grow sad again at nap time, but Castiel was there with open arms, open wings, and an open heart. Missouri couldn’t miss the opportunity to take a quick photo of them as they slept; their arms loosely wrapped around each other, Dean hidden underneath Castiel’s wings as they both snored lightly.
It began an unspoken tradition for both of them. From then on, their naps were spent next to each other, enclosed by Castiel’s wings. From then on, Dean spoke to Cas every day. From then on, their bond was unbreakable.