I check the time, it's ticking closer to the time Dean will be home from school. We're set to meet today; he has a reprimand coming. Whenever he's earned a reprimand, I put a lot of thought into how I'm going to proceed. Many think my role is about lording over people and while I won't deny that I like to be in charge of my home, for me it's certainly not about bossing people around. Being 'in charge' means you have great responsibility. When the people in your home are not fulfilling their roles, it's partly your fault. Yes. When my brood is misbehaved, it's because I have not fulfilled my role as completely as I could and that is inexcusable. Thus, each time I have to hand out punishment, there is much I consider. It's not just about the situation at present, but where I'd like the chastisement to take the person.
With time, I've gotten good at guiding my pair and in case I should doubt myself, I've got Sam and Dean reminding me at every turn of what I good Husband and Papa I am. I trust them. I've got them both down so well, I could write an instruction manual on each of them, though the two are so close sometimes, one might be able to use the same directions for each. I know exactly how long each of them can go without a spanking and can almost write down on my calendar: "Time to spank Dean, or time to spank Sam," I've gotten so accurate.
But it wasn't always this way. With each there was a learning curve.
I knew though, since I first saw Dean with that broom handle in his hand, jousting it at the doctors trying to help him, eyes wild like a wolf, that Dean would do well with strict boundaries. But even with that piece of knowledge, I've had to fine tune my barometer over time and at the different phases of his growing up, or growing down…
THEN: The First Time Cas Spanks Dean growing Down
It is difficult to decide these kinds of things. He's not a 'regular' child. Old Dean is still there to some degree, but in so many ways, Sam and I can see how much a child he is developmentally. The greatest challenge being, he doesn't see it. We have to get him to see it.
"How are my boys today?" I ask as I remove my long beige trench coat and roll up the sleeves to my white, long sleeved shirt, in preparation to sit down at the kitchen table with my family and eat dinner. I loosen my tie and remove it, undoing the top buttons of my shirt. It was a long day at work; I've been looking forward to seeing them both all day. I lean in to kiss Sam, he's got his fed up look on – it must have been a trying day with our boy.
"Hi Cassy," he says trying not to let on how he's feeling, but I know. I almost always know.
"Dean," I say sitting down, knowing not to kiss his crown like I want to. He's likely to explode and as much as I can already sense this night is going to end in him getting spanked, I think in this case it's better if I let him get there on his own. So far, he's only had a spanking from Sam. I've given him warnings and was very close to yesterday morning when he was misbehaving, but I've been looking to Sam for guidance. He's the kid expert and even he's having to wing some of it with Dean. The Modlenol is a real wrench in the machinery. It makes us both question our parenting methods (though me far more than Sam) rather than trust our instincts.
He's toying with the spaghetti the chef likely made, not eating it, probably because he was told to wait for me, but still rolling his fork in it. Sam's looking at him worried and also exhausted; I know it's time for me to take the reigns on this one.
"Put your fork down please, Kiddo. Daddy likes to say grace before we eat," I say pulling out my chair and sitting at the other head of our kitchen table across from Sam. Dean's sitting at the bench seat opposite the bay window. He puts it down, but it's easy to see that's pissed him off more.
"Would my Dean Bean like to say grace tonight?" Sam asks. I know he's trying to make Dean feel a little better for losing some of his autonomy by giving him tasks. It's also the Colt way – everyone has a job in that family, no matter how small. It's the way it's got to be with a family that size.
"Dean," Sam warns.
"Well, I don't want to and everything I do want to do, you guys say no to."
I give a look across the table to Sam, asking him if I can handle this one to which he responds silently, 'by all means.' We've been together so long, we can have these wordless conversations. Sam looks relieved to have me step in.
"That isn't respectful little boy and I won't have it – not at my table and not in our home. Apologize to your daddy please."
"Apologize? For speaking my mind? That's horseshit."
"Okay, enough. Corner please, that one, to calm down until we can conduct a more reasonable conversation."
His jaw drops and he looks to Sam, though I don't know why. Of all the things that irk Sam, at the top of that list is curse words and Dean's already learned that the hard way. "Oh no, don't look at me, not after that language. Feel lucky Papa's already sent you to the corner, I was about to get my bar of soap."
"Move your bum now Dean Winchester before I spank it." It's no empty threat. I expect immediate compliance and I don't have much patience for disobedience.
Angrily, he pushes his plate away and storms over to the corner, likely hating my guts right now. If that had been me in my father's house, he would have given me a good spanking for that kind of behavior alone and I would have been standing in the corner with a sore bottom awaiting a real spanking.
I let Dean's behavior go, so long as he decides to behave in the corner.
"He's tired Cassy. His body needs some extra sleep, that's why he's so cranky."
"It's no excuse, Sam. Will you say grace, Baby?"
Sam says a quick grace and we begin eating. After five minutes have past, I check on our boy. "Dean, are you ready to come out?"
"Yes," he snaps in a way that says he's not.
"Come to the table, please." He's still getting used to us and our ways, so I give him some slack, even if I should leave him to calm down another five minutes – he's still got enough old Dean in him for me to be firmer than if he were an actual eight or nine-year-old.
He's less aggressive when he makes his way back, corner time does help Dean calm down whether he likes it or not, but he's sulky as he sits down. "Hey, how come you started without me? We had to wait for Papa, you said, but not me?" he asks his daddy.
I answer. "We don't wait for misbehaving little boys, now start eating please."
He looks like he wants to talk balk, but at least he's questioning that decision. He wisely picks up his fork and begins eating his pasta. "You still owe your daddy an apology. And for your information, you are always heard, Dean, but you will do it respectfully. That's a firm rule in this house, we all respect one another and think carefully about what we say, so no one gets hurt."
"But I feel like no cares about what I think. You just say no and I'm supposed to shut up like a little kid."
"You are a little kid. Your feelings and thoughts are always taken into account, Kiddo, but we make the final decisions according to what we feel is best, that's what parents do. I'm sorry you don't like our decisions sometimes, but it's something you'll understand when you have children of your own."
"I'm never having kids, so I guess I'll never understand."
It's hard not to laugh when he says that. I'm certain he doesn't realize just how much of a kid he sounds saying things like that, but I have to remain stern. "I'm still finding your attitude disrespectful young man, clean it up and you've still yet to apologize to your daddy."
"Even if I'm not sorry?"
That's a genuinely asked question, so I don't scold him for it even though I can tell it's wounded Sam. It's interesting to watch Sam with Dean. He's helped raise so many kids and has had practice in not taking what they say to heart, but with Dean, he gets mortally wounded.
"Even if you're not sorry."
"Fine. I'm sorry, Daddy."
"It's okay, Dean Bean," Sam says forgiving him right away of course and I don't miss him wiping at his eye.
Dean doesn't see it though and continues to sulkily eat his spaghetti. "Thank you for apologizing," I say even though I'm not thrilled with it and I don't like that Sam's upset. "But this is your last warning, lose the attitude, or you'll be going to bed early with a spanked bottom."
"Daddy, already said I have to go to bed early."
I know a brat who's pushing when I see one. "It will be a lot earlier than Daddy's said, I promise."
He's got his elbows on the table, which I want to get after him for, but one lesson at a time Winchester, his face is resting in his little hand and he's twisting noodles onto his fork with the dexterity of an eight or nine year old. I'm sorry Dean, I just can't see you as an adult in this moment, though there are definitely times I can.
So Sam's upset and Dean's upset, I decide to try and salvage what we have left of our dinner. "What did y'all do today?" I say throwing in some Texas for Dean, since I know it makes him laugh.
Not today. He's silent and focuses on eating.
"It wasn't a good day, Cassy. How was yours?"
Some people can hear that and simply say: You win some, you lose some, but not Castiel Winchester. We Winchesters are not 'sweep it under the rug' kinds of people, we deal with things even if it's a simple spanking to put everything to rest.
"Can someone explain what happened here today?"
"Dean's upset because, yesterday, I told him we were talking about when he would be allowed firearms in his new life. I thought he'd agreed to a hunting hiatus, but well, that's not the case."
"I didn't agree on anything and you said you'd talk about it with him," Dean says not even able to help himself. "You're a tattletale."
I know I warned him that if he was disrespectful again, I would spank him, but I feel it more important to deal with the bigger issue we have at hand than to follow through on that. My patience is pretty much gone by this point. "You don't have to agree to anything Dean. Daddy and I decide on things like that without your input. After the behavior I've seen tonight, it's clear you're not ready for that kind of responsibility, so I'm deciding now, we'll revisit the topic in one year's time, until then it's closed."
I can tell by the look in Sam's eyes, he thinks my ruling is unfair. I know he'll say to me later that Dean was tired and I shouldn't make decisions like that, based off of his 'out of the ordinary' behavior, but that's exactly the kind of behavior I think this decision should be based off of. When you are in command of a firearm, you should also have command of your emotions.
Dean, who doesn't know me as well as Sam does is willing to tell me exactly what he thinks. "That's not fair. You just said I could be heard, I think I should get to at least voice my thoughts on the topic."
No I don't. Not with this. This is a black and white parent issue for Sam and I to decide, with default to me as head of our house. The two of them were not able to work it out, so I get called to bat and once I make a final call, I expect to hear 'yes, sir.'
But Dean is still new to our house rules and I believe in rewarding good behavior. Dean was calm and respectful when he spoke and I appreciate him trying, so I will indulge him this time. Dean's response might not have been the most mature, but I can hear the undercurrent of old Dean in his young voice – it's hard to know just how to deal with these snippets of 'big Dean,' for now I think it's important to reason with him and I note to myself that it could change at some point. "Normally when Papa says a topic is closed, that means no more further discussion, or spanking will ensue, but you were respectful just like Papa asked and I appreciate that Dean, okay, I will hear what you have to say on the topic." I put my fork down to give him my full attention.
Dean can't even help it, he's practically beaming from the praise. No he's not smiling with his lips, but it's in his eyes. Likely part of his further upset from earlier was because he felt out of favor with me. I'll have to remember give Dean lots of positive reinforcement; something I suspect was either missing or rare in his first life.
He copies me and puts his fork down giving me his full attention. "I've been handling firearms for the past twenty-two years, Papa," he says Papa shyly. "I'm good at it. I swear I'll only do it when you say – I won't even look at one otherwise."
"Thank you Dean, now that I've listened to you, will you hear me out?"
"We don't doubt you're brilliant with a firearm, that's not what our decision will be based on. We know the kind of life you lived Dean, we want to offer you something else. Either way, you will have firearms, but you might have to wait a year or two. Your daddy and I will discuss it and let you know." I think I'm going to be well received; I've been more than fair. Not only did I hear him out, I rescinded on a final call, something I never do. I can already hear the accusations from Sam on how much I spoil him.
But I'm not well received, not at all.
"Well that was a waste of everyone's time. Daddy already said that and I got shut down the same way. Just forget it."
I tap my fingers on the table deciding. He deserves it, he's pushing, but I've got first time jitters about spanking my son. Sam knows what my finger tapping means, not only that, but he's had enough of Dean's attitude as well. His eyes clearly say: Do it, or I will.
That decides it for me. I stand up out of my seat, the chair slides back nosily across the floor and Dean's eyes go wide. "I've given you plenty of warnings."
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry. I'll be good."
I shake my head. "No, too late. You're getting a good spanking young man."
I take his wrist and guide him up off the bench seat. "Please Papa, I'm sorry."
"I thank you for your apology, Dean," I say as I continue to switch places with him, sitting on the bench seat and pulling him over my lap. Once he's there, I pull his pants and batman underwear down to his ankles swiftly and lay down several hard swats on his bare bottom. "I will have respect at the dinner table and in our home, is that understood Mr. Winchester?"
I continue spanking him and when he tries to put his hand back to cover, I grab it smoothly and without pause and I'm able to sustain the same intensity of swats. It's not as hard as I thought it was going to be, in that I'm so practiced with spanking a larger, stronger man, that Dean's squirming is nothing. I don't continue much longer after I hear sobs. I wanted the spanking to elicit some tears, I think he needs that, but I only want enough of a sting for this first spanking so he'll feel it while he gets ready for bed, because that's exactly where he's going after this.
Dean's got tears down his cheeks, his face red with both embarrassment and exertion, when I stand him back up and begin pulling up his pants. "Upstairs, now. Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, I'll be up in ten minutes. If I find you have disobeyed, you'll receive another spanking, am I clear?"
"Y-yes, Pa-papa," he nods.
"Good, go." I send him with a light pat to his smarting bottom and he runs. The ten minute reprive and tasks I gave him will give him time to calm down. We still need to have a little chat.
I check on Sam. "I'm sorry you had to do that Cassy. I know you have long days at work."
I take his hand. "It's my job, Baby. He's upset now, but he needed that – he was pushing. I think he'll appreciate the boundaries."
Sam smiles. "He was a terror today. I should have spanked him, you're right it's what he needed, but I've been feeling guilty."
"Can you see how much that helped him?"
"I know Cassy, but I'm glad things worked out as they did. He needed that from you, you have this special something, and even when the spanking is a not fun spanking, it's always worth it for what you give after – I think Dean needs that today. When he sees what you have to offer, your own special Cas brand of caring, he won't mind the rules we make for him…much."
"Until he's a teen. We're deciding no dating 'till he's thirty-five, right?" I tease, I'm only half serious.
Sam laughs. "What is our decision on firearms?"
"I was planning on going back to my original call, due to his outburst. He needs to show respect and responsibility before he's allowed guns. Do you disagree, Baby?" I can tell by the look on his face he's got something to say about that.
"I don't disagree Cassy, it just looks like I'm on the harsher side this time. I'd rather he waits 'till he's thirteen again."
"You are? I could tell you didn't like when I laid down the law earlier."
"Only because of what I thought you were basing your decision on, not the decision itself. He's been cranky today, I didn't think it was fair to judge him on crankiness alone, but I should have known better Cassy. You're always fair and loving when you make decisions."
"Thanks, Baby." I pull him in for a kiss.
We leave the firearms decision at undecided for now. I have to go up and talk to our boy now and it's hard to know what I'm going to get. He might be repentant, he might be resentful…or both. I'm relieved when I see a pajama clad boy face down on his bed. I really didn't want to have to spank him again, but I know how important follow through is.
The Dean I end up getting, is the last thing I expect. Practically heartrending. He launches himself at me and suddenly I have an armful of crying boy. "Pa-papa, I'm sorry," he sobs. He takes a deep breath, trying to control his speech. He's obviously been rehearsing this in his head. "I'm s-sorry I was disrespectful and I, I brushed my teeth ju-just like you said to."
I hug him close, rock him, kiss his head and tell him it's okay. I don't know how much Dean is Old Dean and how much Dean is young Dean right now, but it doesn't matter; he's all my Dean right now. "Papa's very proud you did as he asked and I know you're going to be as respectful as you can be in future. We make decisions because we care about you, we want to give you a good life Dean. Do you think you can just…let go?"
He wraps his legs tight around my waist. I'm sure he'll feel embarrassed by his display of affection in the morning (even if there's no need for that) but it doesn't stop me giving him exactly what he needs in this moment. "I'm trying Papa, I swear I am…it's just hard sometimes."
"I know, Angel. That's why Papa's here to help you."
"But, but I was so awful, you don't hate me?"
I pull back so he can see my eyes. "Never. I care about you very much Dean Winchester." I love him with all my heart in fact, but I'm not sure he's ready to hear that yet. One thing at a time.
He puts his head down into my shoulder and snuggles in, I rock him on the bed for a bit more until I'm sure he's okay. "Do you understand why you were punished?" I ask as I stand up, Dean still with me and pull back the covers on his bed. I'm fairly certain he gets it, but this is the first time I've spanked him, I've got to make sure.
"I was being a little jerk," he says clearly not liking being put to bed so early, but realizing it's of his own making.
I pull the covers over him, sit beside him and press his nose. "Try again Mister Winchester."
"You asked me to be respectful a whole bunch and I didn't listen."
"Good boy. "
"I don't think I'm going to be able to fall asleep Papa, it's too early."
"I think you're more tired than you realize. Tell you what, lie on your belly and Papa will scratch your back until you fall asleep, okay Kiddo?"
In minutes, Dean's…out.