With John, Dean toed the line between obedience and servanthood, respect and worship. He was his father’s soldier in many respects of the word, and all of his faith was put in his fabricated image of John. This was why it was so difficult for Dean to see himself independently from this image. All of Dean’s methods, beliefs, and purpose were derived from years of hunting under the careful scrutiny of John Winchester.
Even if Dean didn’t know this about himself, you did. You saw how he murdered innocent creatures in the name of safety. You saw how he pretended to be only interested in cars and music and chicks. You saw how he bottled up his emotions. You also saw how he spouted off pop culture references. You saw how he enjoyed cooking and taking care of Sam. You saw how he sang along to songs he shouldn’t know and got excited over bull rides and dressing in costume.
You saw the real Dean and you tried to get him to see that, too. But breaking his persona that was so carefully crafted over many decades was as impossible as killing a werewolf with a wooden stake. Or so you thought.
Settling down with you was one of the best choices he could’ve made. Settled was a term used lightly, though. There was no picket fence or 9-5 job, but there was the two of you, partnered and in love, settled into a relationship with one another. And there was the family addition on its way.
Dean was going to be a father, but he didn’t believe he’d do it right. He still saw himself as a copy of John: loving, but negligent. Obsessed with his job. Stuck on vengeance. Too rough to handle a baby. Too messed up to raise a child into anyone good. It wasn’t until you sat him down and talked to him straight, sparing no detail about who the true Dean Winchester was, that he began to consider himself differently.
And it wasn’t until the hectic, unannounced coming of your child that he had fully changed his mind.
You sat in the passenger seat, breathing in and out with heavily, squeezing his hand when a contraction would kick in, a sheen of sweat developing on your forehead. Dean alternated between looking at the road and you, squeezing your hand as often as you squeezed his and gripping the steering wheel just as tight. It was in that moment that you looked over at him and asked the same question you’d asked for months.
“Dean, you think you’re ready to be a father now?”
For the first time, he appeared absolutely convinced as he answered you, the happiness in his eyes drowning out any doubt. “Couldn’t be more.”