You have known Dean long enough to know he isn’t sleeping. What he’s doing is pretending to be asleep, trying to convince you that his mind is at ease enough to to catch some shut eye, that this hunt you just finished hasn’t taken a toll mentally as well as physically. Even from here in the doorway you can see a dark bruise marring his left shoulder and bicep, the only reward he got for tackling a mother changeling. With a sigh, you quietly move to crawl into bed behind him, settling under the blankets and propping yourself up on one elbow.
Dean climbed into bed, exhausted from a day of hunting. Things were back to normal now, well sort of, his mother is still trapped in an alternate universe with Lucifer of all people and him and Sam are currently playing babysitter to said devil’s son. But Castiel is back and between attempting to bring Mary back (preferably with out Satan on her tail) him and Sam have been picking up odd jobs here and there, Cas helping out when he can. Everything is fine, almost fine. Except nothing feels anywhere near fine and Dean can feel it in his gut that something really bad is going to happen, perhaps he’s being pessimistic but recently one bad thing has been replaced with something just as bad if not worse each time.
Dean rolls over. Something’s going to happen and freeing their mother might just be the last of their probl- the bed dips and grounds Dean’s thoughts to a halt. Dean cranes his neck to see Cas settling in behind him, burying his nose in his back and awkwardly slipping his arm over Dean’s waist.
“Yes, Dean?” His voice rumbles through Dean’s back. Dean fights a shiver at the strange feeling.
Clearing his throat Dean continues “Whatcha doing?”
“You are unhappy, you require comfort.” Cas states with his usual indifference, but something seems off.
Dean stays quiet for a long moment trying to come up with a response, eventually he settles on “Okay.” And settles back down on the bed. Perhaps Cas needs this more than he does, so he leaves him to it.
So I want to talk about Sam and Dean in relation to something I call “boy culture,” and no I do not mean that movie from 2006. “Boy Culture” is a term I’m borrowing from this book, and I think it’s best exemplified in a number of movies, my favorites being Stand By Me and The Outsiders, as well as The Goonies, The Lost Boys, The Sandlot, Dead Poet’s Society, and more recently, Super 8. The list goes on.
Boy culture is, essentially, a set of rules, values, and customs commonly used by groups of young boys - and for the sake of this particular discussion, American boys - from childhood into young adulthood. At its core, it prizes four main values - courage, loyalty, mastery, and independence - that are also largely emphasized by the American standards of masculinity often set for adults. The difference here, the part that makes it ‘boy’ culture and not ‘man’ culture, is the focus on intimate same-sex friendships and a group mentality. Think spit handshakes and the alternate definitions of “blood brothers.” At a young age, boys are allowed a physical and emotional closeness that they aren’t allowed in later life. Interestingly enough, the process of growing out of boy culture generally happens as a boy’s desire for intimate relationships is transferred from the companionship of male friends to the companionship of a romantic partner.
So I think it’s very easy to see the way this applies to how the Winchester boys were raised, certainly. Loyalty to the family, mastery of hunting, courage to face monsters, the independence to care for themselves when necessary. The intimate bond between the two of them being of the utmost importance in their lives. All well and good, but here’s the thing: Sam grew out of it, Dean didn’t.
Tbh i feel like at this point Sam and Dean could literally kiss onscreen after one of them almost dies and the writers could make it seem totally platonic. And like, even I would buy it, I would be like, yup, just guys bein dudes, brothers being brothers. This season already we’ve had floor cuddling, thigh touchin, every imaginable incarnation of, “I can’t lose you,” “I’ll never leave you,” “All that matters is that we’re together,” and the goddamn samulet is back, and it’s all been about brotherly love, so, you know. I’m not saying they’ll do it, of course, I’m just saying that if they wanted to, they almost could.