10.12, About a Boy
This scene perfectly illustrates why I’m endlessly banging on about Dean not letting the crap define him and retaining his softer qualities. Dean shouldn’t have been given responsibility of his brother at such a young age. It was not okay. That’s a given. That’s not what I’m shouting about when I make gifs about Dean being caring or empathetic or embracing his nurturing side. This is what I’m shouting about. Dean didn’t have to come up with a hundred and one ways to make macaroni and cheese. He could have told Sam to can his complaints and just eat the damn food. But he was trying to make Sam happy. Just look at Dean’s face when he talks about how Sam found the fluffaroni exotic. That’s a good memory for him: making Sam that disgusting mac and cheese because obviously Sam was a fan. Sam freaking loved marshmallow fluff so much that his imaginary friend Sully brought him marshmallow nachos in 11.08.
Dean obviously liked making his little brother happy, when all that was expected of him was to keep Sam safe. There was no make Sammy happy clause from John. He came up with that part by himself.
The burden of taking care of Sam didn’t create the soft, nurturing part of Dean. But it didn’t take it away either, which is why I’m always yelling about soft Dean. He retained those qualities, despite all the crap he had to go through, and that’s what I love.