This year’s Pride Parade is going to be huge.
Dean just knows it will be. With the year the States have had and the progress (however small) that was made in the right direction, the air of celebration is rising high.
Dean is particularly excited to participate in this year’s parade. This year, he’s marching not just for himself and his beliefs, but also for Cas and their relationship. It’s been almost a year since they first started dating and Dean can’t think of any better way to celebrate their almost-anniversary than to join in the parade and rejoice in the ability to love freely.
Dean looks up from painting colored stripes on his cheeks and smothers a smile at the look of concentration on Cas’ face as he does the same.
Those intense blue eyes are narrowed as he draws lines over the smooth skin of his cheeks. A black triangle with white, grey, and violet lines covers almost one entire cheek. Cas is working on painting the indigo band in his pride flag when he catches Dean watching him.
Dean feels the back of his neck warm as he wipes the dopey grin off of his face and tries to concentrate on his own project. He sees Cas give him an equally cavity-inducing look out of the corner of his eye. Christ on a cracker, they were such a pair of saps.
A few minutes later, they’re downstairs and in the Impala. Then, the car is purring down the road and into town. There are colorful banners, flags, and signs everywhere. Hues of the rainbow adorn signposts, awnings, and windows. People are already lining the street in preparation for the parade. Street vendors are handing out miniature flags and rainbow beaded necklaces.
Dean finds a spot in a designated parking lot for participants of the parade. Together, Cas and Dean make their way to the starting area. Charlie and Jo are already there. The redheaded woman bounces over to Dean, her hazel eyes obscured with a pair of rainbow-hued sunglasses. Jo follows with a fond grin, waving at Cas when he offers her a small smile.
After a round of hugs, Charlie bites her lip and voices her concern for the small area of protesters on one section of the parade route.
Dean feels some of his happy buoyancy deflate at the news.
He really shouldn’t have expected anything different. The cops couldn’t bar the protesters from attending. They could stop them from yelling rude insults and cusses and curses at the parade participants, though.
But Dean’s father, John the righteous policeman, is fond of reminding Dean of the right to ‘free speech’ whenever his oldest breached the subject of the protesters. John, himself, is convinced that Dean is only confused about his sexuality, that his emergence from the ‘Closet’ as a bisexual is just a bid for attention and a passing fad.
John always seems disappointed when Dean brings Castiel to family events as his significant other. Then again, Dean’s done nothing but disappoint John since he returned from his second tour in Iraq. Dean had sworn off being in the service. He’d returned to his skills in art and honed them, becoming an apprentice in a local tattoo parlor before working his way up to the top of the crew and one of the better-known ink artists in the state. None of that is good enough for John, though.
Cas seems to tune into Dean’s souring mood. The smaller man reaches between their bodies and twines their fingers together, squeezing in a gesture of reassurance. Deans offers him a grateful smile as the parade finally sets off.
There’s loud thumping music from a band and multiple sound systems. An announcer talks over the cheering of the crowd and parade, naming every group and spouting facts about all the facets of the LGBT+ community.
Dean gets handed a skein of beads to pass out along with Cas. Up ahead, he can hear Charlie’s loud cheers and effervescent greetings as she passes out pre-packaged sweets in colorful wrappers to the children along the barriers.
He knows exactly when they get to the section of protesters.
Charlie goes quiet and he can practically feel the hostility and bigotry slick through the air. The shouts and jeers reach his his just before he spots their matching white t-shirts emblazoned with hateful words. Their signs wave high on tall posts above them as they chant loudly.
A few lean over the barrier when parade participants get too close. Some participants pay no mind, others go out of their way to make a show; planting kisses on their companions and chanting back messages of love.
Dean can feel himself winding up as they get closer…Closer.
There are a few officers keeping an eye on the crowd of protesters. Their blue uniforms glint with hints of silver and black in the sunlight. Apprehension twists low in Dean’s gut.
There’s a child in among the protesters, her strawberry-blonde curls tied with pink and blue bands. Her wide blue eyes latch onto the matching stripes on Dean’s cheek with a sort of fascination.
Before he knows it, Dean’s feet are carrying him over to the little girl. He squats down to her level and holds out a string of purple beads with a smile. She reminds him of Samandriel, Cas’ cousin with her innocent face and wide eyes. He just can’t help but offer her the gift and a few words of gentle greeting.
The girl accepts the beads and smiles, revealing the gaps where two of her teeth are missing.
“Look at that, they match your hair-ties, sweetheart.” Dean murmurs, careful to keep his deep voice quiet and soft.
The child lifts her hands to loop the beads over her pig-tails.
A set of well-manicured nails flash, snatching the colorful necklace away and tossing it into the street. A shadow looms over Dean and a set of heavy hands abruptly shove at his chest as he stands. He stumbles back, saved from falling only by Cas.
“Get your filthy, whore-mongering hands off of my daughter!” The man has thinning hair and a reddening face. His meaty fists are clenched at his sides.
Cas had stepped up behind Dean to save him from falling backward. His body is pressed against Dean’s, which means that Dean can feel the exact second Cas tenses violently.
Oh, shit. This is not good.
Cas steps out from behind Dean, his voice deceptively calm when he speaks.
A woman with a blunt haircut scoops the little girl up into her arms and begins wiping at the tears on her chubby cheeks. The man seems to inflate himself like a deranged version of a puffer-fish.
“Your kind are sinful, disgusting creatures filled with immorality. You destroy the sanctity of our holistic marriages and spread disease. You’ve all started a disgusting trend. Next you’ll be marrying your pets! Filthy fa-”
Cas’ eyes get that scary, ice-cold look that sorta reminds Dean of the fury of angels in the Good Book. Cas’ body coils like a great cat’s as his head tilts slightly.
Oh, shit. Cas is in DEFCON mode.
The dark-haired man steps forward, graceful and collected despite the restrained anger in the movement. The chains that loop over Cas’ hip and thigh glint and remind Dean of weapons.
“Sir,” Cas spits the word out like it tastes bad. “Sinning is relative. I’m rather knowledgeable about certain faiths. I was raised a Catholic. I studied the Bible cover to cover three times. How many times have you read the Bible?”
The man sputters, face reddening further.
“I thought so. In all my studying I found zero direct mention of sinful sexuality between same-sex couples. I did, however, discover several mentions on the sins of premarital relations. Your daughter is being held by who I presume is her mother. There are no rings on her fingers. This would lead to my conclusion that this child was the result of the sin of premarital sex.”
“You have no right-”
Cas’ lips quirk up in a scary sort of not-smile. Dean can feel a shiver skim its cold fingers down his spine.
“I have every right to say such things by the very rules you twist. The first Amendment may protect your blind hatred but it will not protect you from backlash or fate. Immorality, though. Is preaching hate and harassment a new addition to the Bible? If I’m not mistaken, it is a tenant to love thy neighbor as thyself. Or are you insinuating that the Bible’s laws do not apply to you. Oh. Wouldn’t that mean that you are living in sin?”
Dean can only watch, jaw dropped open as Cas goes to absolute town. In his dark leather jacket with silver studs over the shoulders and wings embroidered in silver and black thread, Cas is an avenging angel. His cheeks are striped with the demisexual and pride flags, his eyes blazing from their rings of smudged liner. His wide pinks lips are curled into a half-snarl as his voice growls with fury.
“You are incredibly stupid, dreaming up all these baseless theories for your inbred bigotry. The only disgusting things here are you and your kind.” The air-quotes around the words would be funny if not for the vicious edge to Castiel’s voice.
He turns and catches Dean’s hand in his. Dean dimly realizes that the crowd to either side of the protesters had been listening in to the whole conversation. When Cas jerks Dean up against his chest and presses their lips together, loud hoots of encouragement and pride ring out.
They carry on with the parade, but not before Dean sees the little girl clenching the broken strand of beads in her hand and staring over her mother’s shoulder. Dean lifts one hand and offers her a smile and a wave. Her tiny hand raises up, fingers wiggling.
Dean feels warmth bloom in his chest as he looks back at Cas. Those bold blue eyes are staring up at him, over-flowing with love. His lips are tipped up crookedly at one corner. He squeezes Dean’s hand in his.
“What?” Dean asks, nudging Cas’ shoulder with his own.
“I love this. The fact that no matter what, love will always trump bigotry and hate.”
Dean laughs and shakes his head.
“I love you, Cas.”
“I love you, too, Dean.”
(THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SMALL RESPONSE WHY THIS???)